Complete Works of Thomas Hardy

Cover image Complete Works of Thomas HardyBuying an ebook of the complete works of a famous author is a very inexpensive way of quickly accumulating a library of classics. Occasionally I’ve been disappointed with the quality of the reproduction, but in my experience Delphi has developed a robust system that produces a high quality product. This collection is no exception; text is faithfully reproduced and the illustrations are crystal clear.

Navigating around a ‘complete works’ in ebook format can be a nightmare, but it’s difficult to see what more could be done than Delphi has done here. The table of contents is very detailed.

This is a very substantial body of work. At the time I bought it I only paid £1.92, which has to be a bargain. The first book I read in the collection was Jude the Obscure. It was book of the month chosen by the Kindle Users Forum Book Club.

I bought this novel in ebook format as part of Hardy’s Complete Works in the Delphi Classics series. The production is excellent, the illustrations clear.

Regardless of the storyline, the book provides an interesting insight into life in the 1890s. From the efficiency of the postal service and public transport it seems that things have gone downhill.

It could be that the criticism of the book got to Hardy as, although he lived for another thirty years, he published no more novels, but I have to say that I found reading Jude was time well spent. This is a book that flatly refuses to be hurried. These days, when so many readers seem to take a pride in the number of books they get through, this may put off a lot of people.
It’s a curious book that left me with mixed emotions. It created a stir on publication and was labelled obscene. The Bishop of Wakefield burned a copy in public, but I don’t really know what the bish (or anyone else) was objecting to. It certainly isn’t obscene. It is slow-going and not an easy read, partly because of the large number of quotations from texts that I didn’t recognise.
There is biting social comment aimed at the pressures imposed on anyone not conforming to social norms and the refusal of the academic institutions to allow access to a self-taught working man.

The characterisation is excellent. The internal conflicts that Sue experiences are timeless. She comes across as a very modern woman for a book written in the 1890s.
The use of English is beautiful at times and although the general tone is dour and sad, there are lighter moments, such as –
‘The landlord of the lodging, who had heard that they were a queer couple, had doubted if they were married at all, especially as he had seen Arabella kiss Jude one evening when she had taken a little cordial; and he was about to give them notice to quit, till by chance overhearing her one night haranguing Jude in rattling terms, and ultimately flinging a shoe at his head, he recognized the note of genuine wedlock.’
The tragic ending is very moving, not to say shocking, and I suspect that it may be this aspect that upset people on publication.
A striking weakness is that the plot depends upon a series of unbelievable coincidences.

I bought this novel in ebook format as part of Hardy’s Complete Works in the Delphi Classics series. The production is excellent, the illustrations clear.

Regardless of the storyline, the book provides an interesting insight into life in the 1890s. From the efficiency of the postal service and public transport it seems that things have gone downhill.

It could be that the criticism of the book got to Hardy as, although he lived for another thirty years, he published no more novels, but I have to say that I found reading Jude was time well spent. This is a book that flatly refuses to be hurried. These days, when so many readers seem to take a pride in the number of books they get through, this may put off a lot of people.
It’s a curious book that left me with mixed emotions. It created a stir on publication and was labelled obscene. The Bishop of Wakefield burned a copy in public, but I don’t really know what the bish (or anyone else) was objecting to. It certainly isn’t obscene. It is slow-going and not an easy read, partly because of the large number of quotations from texts that I didn’t recognise.
There is biting social comment aimed at the pressures imposed on anyone not conforming to social norms and the refusal of the academic institutions to allow access to a self-taught working man.

The characterisation is excellent. The internal conflicts that Sue experiences are timeless. She comes across as a very modern woman for a book written in the 1890s.
The use of English is beautiful at times and although the general tone is dour and sad, there are lighter moments, such as –
‘The landlord of the lodging, who had heard that they were a queer couple, had doubted if they were married at all, especially as he had seen Arabella kiss Jude one evening when she had taken a little cordial; and he was about to give them notice to quit, till by chance overhearing her one night haranguing Jude in rattling terms, and ultimately flinging a shoe at his head, he recognized the note of genuine wedlock.’
The tragic ending is very moving, not to say shocking, and I suspect that it may be this aspect that upset people on publication. A striking weakness is that the plot depends upon a series of unbelievable coincidences.

Regardless of the storyline, the book provides an interesting insight into life in the 1890s. From the efficiency of the postal service and public transport it seems that things have gone downhill.

It could be that the criticism of the book got to Hardy as, although he lived for another thirty years, he published no more novels, but I have to say that I found reading Jude was time well spent.

I bought this Complete Works for KIndle from Amazon. Delphi Complete Works of Thomas Hardy (Illustrated)