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Jude the ObscureThomas Hardy
Jude Fawley is orphaned and is unwanted by his great-aunt Drusilla in Marygreen, who takes him in. He is inspired by Mr. Richard Phillotson to become a classics scholar and studies Greek and Latin on his own intensively. He tries to get books from the quack physician Vilbert. He learns to be a stone-mason by 19. One day, he passes Arabella Donn, daughter of a pig-breeder, and she throws a pig pizzle at him. Arabella feigns a pregnancy and induces Jude to marry her. They take a cottage and raise a pig. She has formerly been a barmaid. She confesses she made a mistake about the pregnancy. She takes over the slaughtering of the pig. She tires of him and runs away with her parents to Australia. He auctions his furnishings and heads for Christminster.
There, he looks up his attractive cousin Sue (Susanna Florence Mary) Bridehead. He is enamored of the learned tradition at Christminster and of Sue. She works in religious artifacts. He is disappointed to learn that Phillotson has not lived up to his ambitions to become a scholar and is now a teacher. He takes on Sue at Jude's suggestion as an apprentice teacher; he is 20 years older than him. Jude's efforts to gain admission to Bristoll college end in nothing. He resolves to study for the clergy...
In Melchester, Jude lives and works and Sue attends Melchester Normal School. Sue comes to him and informs Jude she has made plans to marry Phillotson in two years. Her spending the night with him causes a scandal at the school, and eventually she learns they will not allow her to return. She tells him of a former beloved, who has died (she is still chaste). She is modern, unconventional, has cut up the Bible to suit herself. She wrestles with whether she will allow Jude to love her. She resolves to marry Phillotson, whom she does not love. Jude assures Phillotson that they have not consummated relations. Jude confesses to Sue about his previous marriage. Sue will not marry him, and recalls the prophecy made that their family members should not marry, since it would end badly. Jude soon learns they plan to marry promptly to relieve her awkward situation, and she asks him to give her away.
His old aunt is ill, and he travels to Marygreen to see her. He encounters Arabella in a bar, and she informs him she has left her 2nd husband in Australia and has worked there since her return from Sydney. Because of Arabella, Jude misses seeing Sue. He and Arabella stay in a hotel in Aldbrickham and try to decide what to do next. He finally runs into Sue, who appears distressed with her married life, though married only a month. She frets that she should not have married him. Arabella informs him subsequently that her Australian husband wants to make up with her and join up to establish a tavern in Lambeth.