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June 05, 2005

Comments

genevieve

Apparently Hardy set greatest store by his poetry anyway and would have preferred to be known as a poet - perhaps he got frustrated with novels occasionally, as I think you may be showing us here.
I haven't read A Laodicean, we devoured all the novels at home as teenagers, then I got to university and was all Hardied out, I think. I do remember thinking Jude was a bit excessive.

AA

Ha, I just read this recently, actually, because the telegraph is a pet interest of mine and I'd read about the telegraph wire to Paula's castle elsewhere. (I read the same edition.) It was my first encounter with the "lesser Hardy" (being only familiar with Jude, Tess, and the Mayor of C before) and I remember I kept having these urges to check the cover to make sure it still said "Thomas Hardy," because it was so strikingly different. So underdeveloped, as you put it well. (The last third or so particularly baffled me, when first George Somerset is chasing Paula all around Europe and then Paula chases him -- it felt like their trains stopped literally everywhere, twice. On and on and on... as courtship narratives go this one was particularly tedious.)

Still, I think I'd rate it "fun" myself, but I think my delight in all things telegraphic biases me. (I also found some of the main points of conflict really amusing -- in particular, the doctored photograph that makes Somerset look drunk. Ha! Actually, I would love someday to see some manipulated photographic prints from the period like the ones described in the novel, if they did exist and still do.)

At any rate, it was a real pleasure to see this obscure funny little Hardy novel come up in a great post on your blog.

ADM

Er, because I'm too lazy (not that lazy -- I did check my copy of Jude which I taught in a 19th c. European history class last quarter) to do this myself ... where does this fit into Hardy's novels chronologically? That passage was so ... not very good.

Marc

FYI, this blog post has been included in History Carnival #10.

Thanks for writing about history!

Best Regards,
Marc @ Spinning Clio

DORIS MORDEN

i AM DOING MY FAMILY TREE AND I AM LOOKING FOR INFO ON THOMAS GANNON BORN 1796 ,I THINK IN IRELAND WHO THEN WENT TO CANADA ,THEN TO ST PANCRAS, LONDON ,HE WORKED AS A COMEDIAN .
MANY THANKS DORIS

lynn cates

Hello. I find striking paralells between Hardy's Laodicean and Conan-Doyle's Hound of the Baskervilles.

1. Dare and Stapleton both wish to reclaim a valuable family home.

2. Both are cads who are not above skullduggery.

3. Both family dwellings are made notorious in the English Civil Wars.

4. Both stories have family resemblances highlighted by ancient family portraits.

Are these merely coincidences, or did Conan-Doyle (in 1902) borrow from hardy (1881)?

Cassandra

I am almost finished with A Laodicean and am actually enjoying the story...I think it's fun. While I am a fan of all Hardy novels, this one does seem to be a bit of a departure in style from the rest. I've still to read Ethelberta. Is it really awful? I'm biased in favor of Hardy and am hoping it has some redeeming qualities.

J Townsend

If your correspondent, Doris Morden, would contact me, we may be able to exchange information about Thomas Gannon, comedian.

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