Cover of "Jude the Obscure" by Thomas Hardy.

Jude the Obscure

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Jude Fawley’s hopes of an education at Christminster University are dashed when he is trapped into marrying the wild, earthy Arabella, who later abandons him. Moving to Christminster to work as a stonemason, Jude falls in love with Sue Bridehead, a sensitive, freethinking “new woman.” Refusing to marry merely for the sake of religious convention, Jude and Sue decide instead to live together, but they are shunned by society, and poverty soon threatens to ruin them. Jude the Obscure, with its fearless and challenging exploration of class and sexual relationships, caused a public furor when it was first published and marked the end of Hardy’s career as a novelist.