Book review: Desperate Remedies by Thomas Hardy,


Desperate RemediesDesperate Remedies by Thomas Hardy

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Free download available at Project Gutenberg.

And the audio version is available at LibriVox.

PREFATORY NOTE:

The following story, the first published by the author, was written nineteen years ago, at a time when he was feeling his way to a method. The principles observed in its composition are, no doubt, too exclusively those in which mystery, entanglement, surprise, and moral obliquity are depended on for exciting interest; but some of the scenes, and at least one of the characters, have been deemed not unworthy of a little longer preservation; and as they could hardly be reproduced in a fragmentary form the novel is reissued complete—the more readily that it has for some considerable time been reprinted and widely circulated in America. January 1889.
To the foregoing note I have only to add that, in the present edition of ‘Desperate Remedies,’ some Wessex towns and other places that are common to the scenes of several of these stories have been called for the first time by the names under which they appear elsewhere, for the satisfaction of any reader who may care for consistency in such matters.
This is the only material change; for, as it happened that certain characteristics which provoked most discussion in my latest story were present in this my first—published in 1871, when there was no French name for them it has seemed best to let them stand unaltered.
T.H. February 1896.

From Wiki:
After Hardy had trouble publishing his first novel, he was told to “attempt a novel with a purely artistic purpose, giving it a more ‘complicated’ plot than was attempted with his first, unpublished novel.” The publication of Desperate Remedies was Hardy’s breakthrough, and the first of a long string of novels that propelled him to the forefront of Victorian letters.

4* Tess of the d’Urbervilles
3* The Mayor of Casterbridge
4* Far from the Madding Crowd
3* The Mayor of Casterbridge
3* The Three Strangers
4* An Imaginative Woman and Other Stories
4* The Woodlanders
5* A Pair of Blue Eyes
4* Under the Greenwood Tree
4* The Return of the Native
4* Jude the Obscure
4*The Hand of Ethelberta
4* Two on a Tower
3* Desperate Remedies
TBR The Distracted Preacher
TBR The Trumpet-Major
TBR Wessex Tales

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