The Distracted Preacher and Other Tales

The Distracted Preacher and Other Tales

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The darkly passionate short stories of Thomas Hardy are compelling explorations of love, social class, superstition and legend. This collection contains many of his finest and most representative, and includes 'The Withered Arm', an eerie depiction of arcane witchcraft in nineteenth-century England; 'Barbara of the House of Grebe', in which a beautiful man's tragic disfigurement by fire is savagely exploited by his rival; 'The Son's Veto', showing the cruelty of an educated youth towards his ignorant but tender mother; and 'The Distracted Preacher', the story of one man's conflict between heartfelt love and his own sense of moral and civic duty. By turns moving and poetic, and surprisingly modern and brutally macabre, these eloquent tales may be numbered among the greatest creations of Hardy's genius.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 368 pages
  • 127 x 195.58 x 22.86mm | 272.15g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0140431241
  • 9780140431247
  • 610,105

About Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy was born in Dorset in 1840 and became an apprentice architect at the age of sixteen. He spent his twenties in London, where he wrote his first poems. In 1867 Hardy returned to his native Dorset, whose rugged landscape was a great source of inspiration for his writing. Between 1871 and 1897 he wrote fourteen novels, including Tess of the D'Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure. This final work was received savagely; thereafter Hardy turned away from novels and spent the last thirty year of his life focusing on poetry. He died in 1928. Susan Hill was born in Scarborough in 1942, and educated at grammar schools there and in Coventry. She read English at King's College, London, of which she is now a Fellow. As well as I'm the King of the Castle, her novels include Strange Meeting, The Bird of Night, In the Springtime of the Year, Air and Angels, The Service of Clouds,The Various Haunts of Men, The Pure in Heart, The Rise of Darkness, The Beacon, The Vows of Silence and The Small Hand. She has written several volumes of short stories, including A Bit of Singing and Dancing; two ghost novels, The Woman in Black and The Mist in the Mirror; and a number of stories for children. Her autobiographical books are The Magic Apple Tree and Family. She is married with two adult daughters and lives in North Norfolk.
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Table of contents

Hardy's Life and Works: a Chronology
1. Thomas Hardy as a Short Story Writer
2. The Selected Stories
Hardy's Wessex
Key to Place-Names
The Distracted Preacher
A Mere Interlude
The Withered Arm
A Tragedy of Two Ambitions
The Melancholy Hussar of the German Legion
Barbara of the House of Grebe
On the Western Circuit
The Son's Veto
The Fiddler of the Reels
An Imaginative Woman
The Grave by the Handpost
Hardy's General Preface to the Wessex Edition of 1912
Bibliographical Note
Note on the Text
Explanatory Notes
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Rating details

305 ratings
3.72 out of 5 stars
5 19% (58)
4 42% (129)
3 32% (97)
2 6% (17)
1 1% (4)
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