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Desperate Remedies

Thomas Hardy

Book Overview: 

Cytherea Graye is poor, but accepts a post as lady's maid to the eccentric Miss Aldclyffe, the woman whom her father had loved but had not been able to marry. Cytherea in turn loves a young architect, Edward Springrove; but will Miss Adclyffe's machinations, the knowledge that Edward is already engaged to a woman whom he does not love, and the urgent need to support her sick brother drive Cytherea to accept the hand of Aeneas Manston? Will true love triumph in the end or will she be forced to live a life of misery with a man she doesn't love?

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .The instant they were in bed Miss Aldclyffe freed herself from the last remnant of restraint. She flung her arms round the young girl, and pressed her gently to her heart.

'Now kiss me,' she said.

Cytherea, upon the whole, was rather discomposed at this change of treatment; and, discomposed or no, her passions were not so impetuous as Miss Aldclyffe's. She could not bring her soul to her lips for a moment, try how she would.

'Come, kiss me,' repeated Miss Aldclyffe.

Cytherea gave her a very small one, as soft in touch and in sound as the bursting of a bubble.

'More earnestly than that—come.'

She gave another, a little but not much more expressively.

'I don't deserve a more feeling one, I suppose,' said Miss Aldclyffe, with an emphasis of sad bitterness in her tone. 'I am an ill-tempered woman, you think; half out of my mind. Well, perhaps I am; but I have had grief more than you can think. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Desperate Remedies probably remains among Thomas Hardy’s presently published works due to its distinction as being the first of his novels to be published. It serves as a Point “A” from which his subsequent novels can be compared. It provides a snapshot of Hardy’s early career when it seems like his

Jamás me había costado tanto valorar un libro.
Y no por culpa de la maravillosa novela de Hardy, sino por culpa de la edición en castellano que ha sacado Ático de los libros: no me suelen importar los spoilers, en muchos casos hasta me gustan, pero me gustaría saber a qué persona en su sano juicio l

Me ha encantado, no le falta de nada a este libro, aunque si que es verdad que uno de los secretos de los protagonistas lo ví venir desde casi el principio, por eso le puse 4 en vez de 5 estrellas

A brilliant, brilliant read - Hardy's usual strong characterisation and emotional impact, along with a wonderfully paced dramatic mystery. Great fun, powerful, so well written, with a wonderful cast. I flew through this, and it's currently rivalling Far From the Madding Crowd and Jude the Obscure fo

As a lover of literary curiosities, how was I going to resist the spectacle of a young Thomas Hardy attempting a Wilkie Collins-style “sensation novel”? The idea is both incongruous and weirdly enticing; and the reality doesn’t fall too far short.

That’s not to say that Desperate Remedies—Hardy’s fi

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