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Hardy was a p,£pjvin£ial, a countryman; indeed, despite his training as an
architect and his wide knowledge of literature and of the science and philosophy
of his age, almost a najjf, a primitive. This differentiates him from contemporaries
But Hardy, as though not wholly convinced himself, does not know where to stop.
He spoils his case by overstatement : when we learn later that Eustacia's letter to
Clym has not been delivered because the messenger forgot to post it, we begin ...
passes from belief to unbelief, Sue progresses in the opposite direction. The
effect of this shrinkage in design is to throw the emphasis precisely where Hardy
is always weakest, his manipulation of the plot. Simply because Hardy is working
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Remember when literary critics read books and wrote about them? No? Well, I do now. He got a few things wrong - what did these people ever see in H.G. Wells? In Meredith? That they should be put next ... Read full review
The Eighteenth Century
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