"Getting life-leased at all cost:" Marriage in Hardy's Late Short Stories

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Book Chapter

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Department 1



It would be no exaggeration to contend, as did one recent critic, that "Marriage is the material of nineteenth-century British fiction" (Psomiades 53), and in his fiction Thomas Hardy took full advantage of the possibilities for both comedy and tragedy that arise from this material. Despite Hardy's later reputation as a critic of the institution, the majority of his novels follow the conventions of the romantic plot, tracing the social and emotional complications of men and women as they attempt to balance the dictates of their hearts with their culture's expectations for domestic stability. [excerpt]


Original version available from the publisher, Routledge/Taylor and Francis.

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