A meteoric social rise and fall is at the heart of Thomas Hardy’s The Mayor of Casterbridge. This stunning new Folio Society edition is part of our Wessex novels collection.
Jude the Obscure
Illustrated by Peter Reddick
Preface by the author
Thomas Hardy’s tragic tale of failed ambition, Jude the Obscure, is illustrated by Peter Reddick and is published as part of the Folio Society Wessex collection.
A working-class orphan with aspirations for a university education, Jude Fawley is nothing if not ambitious. However, his class and economic situation drive him into a career as a stonemason, rather than to fulfil his scholarly leanings. It is a loveless marriage that finally propels him to pursue his dreams and find new love, but although his life follows a path that is dotted with joy, his ultimate fate is to suffer.
Bound in cloth blocked with a decorative motif
Set in Baskerville
20 integrated black & white woodcut illustrations
Printed map endpapers
9˝ × 5¾˝
Exploring themes of class, education and marriage
Social commentary ripples just below the surface in all the Wessex novels and yet the situation seems particularly unjust: in this instance a young man with modest dreams and the drive to achieve them is unable to succeed due to his working-class background. The theme is overriding and Hardy makes it clear that this failure to succeed compromises the rest of Jude’s life. The lingering regrets have catastrophic consequences later on when circumstances threaten Jude’s beloved family with homelessness and ultimately tears it apart.
A new collector’s set
Jude the Obscure is produced in series with the best of Thomas Hardy’s Wessex novels – Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Far from the Madding Crowd and The Mayor of Casterbridge. The edition is illustrated with 20 of Peter Reddick’s delightful wood engravings and includes printed map endpapers depicting Wessex in glorious detail. Reddick’s motifs also appear on the cloth binding and are replicated on the slipcase. This is made from Fragrance of Grass paper, which is created using an ancient Chinese paper-making method that results in a unique appearance and texture.
About Thomas Hardy
About Peter Reddick
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