An Indiscretion in the Life of an Heiress and Other Stories

An Indiscretion in the Life of an Heiress and Other Stories
Oxford University Press
Hardy, Thomas


General Editor`s Preface, Introduction, How I Built Myself a House, Destiny and a Blue Cloak, The Thieves Who Couldn`t Help Sneezing, An Indiscretion in the Life of an Heiress, Our Exploits at West Poley, Old Mrs Chundle, The Doctor`s Legend, The Spectre of the Real, Blue Jimmy: The Horse Stealer, The Unconquerable


So laments Geraldine Allenville in `An Indiscretion in the Life of an Heiress`, one of the ten stories - three collaborative, all uncollected - that are brought together in this volume. `Indiscretion`, derived from Hardy`s unpublished first novel The Poor Man and the Lady , represents one of his earliest confrontations with the class and gender issues which were to remain central to his fiction throughout his life. Several of the other stories, notably `Destiny and a Blue Cloak`, `The Spectre of theReal`, and `The Unconquerable`, raise similar questions, while at the same time illustrating, in typical Hardyan fashion, life`s little (or somewhat larger) ironies. Some of the other stories are less characteristic: `Old Mrs Chundle` approximates moral fable more closely than is usual for Hardy, while `Our Exploits at West Poley` is anomalous not only in being (like `The Thieves Who Couldn`t Help Sneezing`) a story written for children but also in experimenting with...

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