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Beschreibung des Verlags
This is the annotated edition including a rare biographical essay on the life and works of the author.
This romance, as the author entitled it in the English edition, is in some respects a successful, and in all respects, a powerful book. It is not devoid of humor, as the delightful description of the choir practice amply proves. It is certainly a romance if a strange and almost bizarre plot can give a story as claim to that title. It does not yield to any of our author's stories as a character study, nor does it yield to any story of modern times in its absolute truth to the fundamental principles of human nature under certain given circumstances. More than any of Mr. Hardy's novels it gives one the impression of being a study undertaken on definite lines and with a definite object. That object is the endeavor to show the misery that must come to the woman who allows her passion for a man to blind her to the obstacles which difference of age, of rank, of education, of social aim, have set between them. The absorbing, the disastrous passion of Lady Constantine for her young astronomer, Swithin St. Cleve, the secret marriage, the terrible complications that arise upon her discovery that she was not a widow when she contracted this marriage, her anxiety to do no wrong to the budding genius of her boy husband, who still finds more to gaze at in the stars of heaven than in her own love-lit eyes, her open marriage to the Bishop of Melchester to save her reputation, the awakening of St. Cleve to the fact that there are other women in the world besides his quondam wife and patroness, and finally the death scene in the tower when the heart of her that loved not wisely, but too well, has snapped beneath its weight of grief—all these particulars make up a story of intense power and interest.