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The Distracted Preacher and Other Tales

Thomas Hardy - Author

Susan Hill - Editor/introduction

Susan Hill - Notes by

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ISBN 9780140431247 | 368 pages | 29 May 1980 | Penguin Classics | 5.07 x 7.79in | 18 - AND UP
Summary of The Distracted Preacher and Other Tales Summary of The Distracted Preacher and Other Tales Reviews for The Distracted Preacher and Other Tales An Excerpt from The Distracted Preacher and Other Tales
Thomas Hardy's short stories reveal a literary persona, a creative intelligence and an imaginative vision uniquely and unmistakably his own.

Those contained within this volume are among his finest and most representative and include The Withered Arm, one of his best known and most gripping; Barbara of the House of Grebe, said by T. S. Eliot to portray 'a world of pure evil'; The Son's Veto, regarded by Hardy as his best story; and, of course, The Distracted Preacher, possible the most flawless of all. Like the novels, the short stories reveal Hardy's preoccupation with affairs of the heart, with love requited and frustrated, fulfilled or doomed. They contain many of his most powerful portraits of women; they are streaked with the grotesque, the macabre and bizarre; and they are permeated by that atmosphere, narrative power, and vivid sense of place and its intimate relation to character which are the essentials of Hardy's genius.

Hardy's Life and Works: a Chronology
Introduction
1. Thomas Hardy as a Short Story Writer
2. The Selected Stories

Hardy's Wessex
Map
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