By Wilkie Collins
In Basil's mystery and unconsummated marriage to Margaret Sherwin, and the ensuing horrors of betrayal, madness, and dying, Collins finds the bustling, advertisement London of the 1st 1/2 the 19th century.
Collins' therapy of adultery surprised modern reviewers, or even this present day the passionate and lurid surroundings he created has the ability to disturb the trendy reader.
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I. -II. -III. -IV. -V. -VI. -VII. -VIII. -IX. -X. -I. -II. -III. -IV. -V. -VI. -I. -II. -III. - IV. -V. -VI. -VII. -VIII. -I. -II. -III. -IV. -V. -VI. -VII. -VIII. -IX. -X. -XI. ENDNOTES INSPIRED BY JUDE THE OBSCURE COMMENTS & QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING FROM THE PAGES OF JUDE THE OBSCURE 舠You know what a university is, and a university degree? 舡 (page 10) Somebody might have come along that way who would have asked him his trouble, and might have cheered him by saying that his notions were further advanced than those of his grammarian.
The Bishop of Wakefield famously reported that his disgust at the moral tenor of the book had prompted him to throw it in the fire舒an act that Hardy refers to in his postscript (written in 1912) as a substitution practiced 舠in his despair at not being able to burn me舡 (p. 4). Moral outrage at the novel was promulgated by newspaper reviews in America and England alike, though the literary luminaries of the day issued more sober appraisals, acknowledging both the difficulty of the subject and yet, in some cases, continuing the castigation.
That Jude was, at the time it was written, an end-of-the-century production is evident from both its publication date of 1895 and the millennialism that haunts its pages. The sensation that everything is about to change because the century is about to turn over is a sensation with which we should be able to empathize. Our own issues about the change from the twentieth to the twenty-first century were routed through anxieties about a computer bug (Y2K) that was rumored would cause systemic chaos and anarchy throughout the modern world.