Desperate Remedies – a return to Victorian literature

A couple of weeks ago I resolved to return to the novels of Thomas Hardy.  As a Eng. Lit. ‘O’-Level student in the 70’s we’d covered a couple of his novels, and some poems; and I read most of them two or three decades ago.  A friend of mine (thanks Timbo!) posted The Darkling Thrush ( on Facebook for the second time in a few years, and it seemed like time to move away from the diet of modern spy/crime/historical/fantasy fiction I’ve been reading for the past few years (e.g. CJ Sansom, Mick Herron, Robin Hobb, Ian Rankin, Stephen Donaldson, Peter James) and return to something from a different era.

I went for a kindle collection of all novels in publication date order.   So have started with Desperate Remedies from 1872 (, although his second novel, the first was never published, so this is the correct starting point.
Hardy is noted for his lengthy, complex, punctuated sentence structure – and quite frankly it took a few chapters to get back into that style.  But after a few late night reading sessions (a hot bath for my spine is always a good place!!) I’m there and really enjoying it again.   The sentences just fall into place and the added bonus of reading on a kindle is the ability to highlight a word and get the dictionary definition (useful for writing that is nearly 200 years old).
The one thing I didn’t expect?  After all the excitement today of the New Horizons fly by of Ultima Thule ( I didn’t expect to read those words in the novel.  I’ll let you read the novel to find out where and why.

By P J Bryant

Ramblings of a freelance IT Consultant working for some nice SME's, large organisations, resellers and the usual friends and family! Bit of

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