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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" is a novel that was written by Thomas Hardy and published in three volumes in 1871. It was his first published novel. Hardy had completed his first novel "The Poor Man And The Lady" in 1868 but he was advised to either rewrite the novel, or" what would be much better...attemp...more

This is Hardy's first novel. For the first hundred pages or so it seems standard Hardy, but it quickly turns into a Wilkie Collinsesque potboiler (the Victorian "sensation novel") of not astoundingly high quality (it doesn't match The Woman in White, for instance). Unlike so much Hardy, there's a...more

Oh, this was quite strange, but worth reading. It was Hardy's first published novel, and it's most unlike his other books, an odd mishmash of romance and Gothic and sensation novel. When Cytherea Graye takes a position as lady's maid to eccentric, beautiful Miss Aldclyffe, she is drawn under the...more

En primer lugar os presento la novela con un dato:
- Remedios desesperados es la primera novela de Thomas Hardy y que Ático de los libros edita por primera vez en español y con el nombre del autor.. Digo bien, ya que esta novela nunca fue publicada con su verdadero nombre debido a lo escandaloso d...more

Es la primera novela que leo de Thomas Hardy y me ha encantado! es una obra llena de misterio y tramas secretas que te hacen mantener la atención en todo momento. La novela se lee en nada y aunque por momentos puede parecer previsible y lenta, al llegar las últimas cien páginas los secretos y los...more

Having read most of Hardy's novels, and re-read them, this was my first reading of Desperate Remedies. A real surprise, and a real pleasure. A cross between later Hardy and Wilkie Collins. And some of the beautifully rhythmic prose reminded me of Jane Austen, oddly enough.So adventurous for its t...more

The idea of re-reading Thomas Hardy's work in order of publication floated in my head for quite some time; and now that I have made a start and re-visited his first published novel I think that it was a rather good idea.

'Desperate Remedies' isn't his finest work but it is a good start, and a very...more

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...more

I probably wouldn't even have heard of Desperate Remedies if I hadn't got it out of the library to listen to in the car. I'm glad I found it, however, for this was a really interesting novel and an entertaining and surprising one. The blurb led me to expect something mediocre - Hardy's first nove...more

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...more

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