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Reading Thomas Hardy

$41.99 (P)

Part of Reading Writers and their Work

  • Date Published: October 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107177963

$ 41.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • This major new reading of the novels of Thomas Hardy, by leading critic George Levine, disentangles the author's often elaborately distanced prose from his beautiful poetic and precise renderings of the natural world. Clear, direct and minimally academic in his own writing, Levine provides an overview of Hardy's entire fictional canon, with extensive discussions of his early and late novels including his last, The Well-Beloved. Levine draws new attention to the way Hardy absorbed both the ideas and the writing strategies of Charles Darwin, and develops new perspectives first articulated in the criticism of great novelists - in particular Virginia Woolf and D. H. Lawrence. Levine departs from the critical norm by reading Hardy in the context of his deep feeling for the natural world and all living things, and the implicit affirmation of life that sometimes drives his bleakest narratives.

    • A vibrant and illuminating non-specialist account of the novels of Thomas Hardy by one of the most eminent scholars of Victorian literature
    • Considers Hardy's work in the perspective of the literary influence of Charles Darwin on the one hand and the reactions of D. H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf on the other
    • Offers new insights into Hardy's prose and the ways in which he renders the natural world
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'A wide range of readers will be attracted by the accessible style, moderate length, and reasonable price of Reading Thomas Hardy. Those less familiar with Hardy criticism will benefit from Levine’s adept summaries of some of the major areas of debate, which cover questions of realism, style, respectability, narrative position, and observation. But, above all, this book will bring into critical view a more dynamic understanding of Hardy - a writer whose attentiveness to the natural world re-enchants his readers.' Jonathan Godshaw Memel, Modern Language Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107177963
    • length: 162 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 157 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.4kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Shaping Hardy's art: vision, class, and sex
    2. Hardy and Darwin: an enchanting Hardy?
    3. The Mayor of Casterbridge: reversing the real
    Interlude: Jude and the power of art
    4. From mindless matter to the art of the mind: The Well-Beloved
    5. The poetry of the novels.

  • Author

    George Levine, Rutgers University, New Jersey
    George Levine is Professor Emeritus of English at Rutgers University, New Jersey and has published broadly on Victorian topics, including authoring Darwin and the Novelists (1988), How to Read the Victorian Novel (2007) and the award-winning Realism, Ethics and Secularism: Essays on Victorian Literature and Science (Cambridge, 2008). He is editor of The Cambridge Companion to George Eliot (Cambridge, 2001) and was co-editor of the journal Victorian Studies in its early years.

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