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BY

THOMAS HARDY

AUTHOR OF
" TESS OF THE D'URBERVILLES" "LIFE'S LITTLE IRONIES"

“FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD" ETC.

" The letter killeth "

NEW YORK AND LONDON
HARPER & BROTHERS PUBLISHERS

BOOKS BY
THOMAS HARDY
DESPERATE REMEDIES
FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD
A GROUP OF NOBLE DAMES
THE HAND OF ETHELBERTA
JUDE THE OBSCURE
A LAODICEAN
LIFE'S LITTLE IRONIES
THE MAYOR OF CASTERBRIDGE V
A PAIR OF BLUE EYES
THE RETURN OF THE NATIVE
TESS OF THE D'URBERVILLES
THE TRUMPET MAJOR
TWO ON A TOWER
UNDER THE GREENWOOD TREE '
THE WELL-BELOVED
· WESSEX TALES
THE WOODLANDERS

Crown 8vo.
1&mo. Thin Paper Edition.
Cloth. Leather.

A CHANGED MAN. Post svo
WESSEX POEMS. First Series
WESSEX POEMS. Second Series

HARPER & BROTHERS, NEW YORK

Copyright, 1895, by Harper & BROTHERS.

PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

BU

PREFACE

The history of this novel (whose birth in its present shape has been much retarded by the necessities of periodical publication) is briefly as follows. The scheme was jotted down in 1890, from notes made in 1887 and onward, some of the circumstances being suggested by the death of a woman in the former year. The scenes were revisited in October, 1892; the narrative was written in outline in 1892 and the spring of 1893, and at full length, as it now appears, from August, 1893, onward into the next year; the whole, with the exception of a few chapters, being in the hands of the publisher by the end of 1894. It was begun as a serial story in HARPER'S MAGAZINE at the end of November, 1894, and was continued in monthly parts.

But, as in the case of Tess of the D'Urbervilles, the magazine version was, for various reasons, abridged and modified in some degree, the present edition being the first in which the whole appears as originally written. And in the difficulty of coming to an early decision in the matter of a title, the tale was issued under a provisional name—two such titles having, in fact, been successively adopted. The present and final title, deemed on the whole the best, was one of the earliest thought of,

3314.17

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