Enjoy with a stiff drink!
Jude The Obscure is Thomas Hardy's last novel (other classics include Far From The Madding Crowd and Tess of the d'Urbervilles). It's a grim tale of a working-class young man who aspires to become a scholar but is manipulated into marrying a coarse local girl, Arabella, and abandons his studies. Arabella leaves him and Jude falls in love with his married cousin. They eventually start a relationship and have children, though they face wide condamnation for living together unmarried. When tragedy strikes, Jude's dreams come crashing down around him.
Jude The Obscure is a fearless exploration of sexual and social relationships in Victorian times. Dubbed 'Jude The Obscene' by one critic, it has nonetheless become a classic and a film adaptation also exists.