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Your display name should be at least 2 characters long. At Kobo, we try to ensure that published reviews do not contain rude or profane language, spoilers, or any of our reviewer's personal information. You submitted the following rating and review. The face in the miniature was the face of her own father — younger and fresher than she had ever known him — but her father!

Cytherea discovers that Miss Aldclyffe is Cytherea Bradleigh, an old flame of her father's, who lives under a new surname.

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Also Miss Aldclyffe soon finds out that Cytherea is the daughter of the man she once loved. Cytherea's attitude to Miss Aldclyffe is ambivalent. As her maid she does not want to offend or discourage her, but she loves Edward Springrove, a poor young architect — her brother's friend; however, when she learns that Edward is already engaged to his cousin, she decides, upon Miss Aldclyffe's advice, to marry Aeneas Manston, a villainous young widower, who both fascinates and frightens her.

He seduces her during a thunderstorm by playing very expressive music on the organ. She was swayed into emotional opinions concerning the strange man before her; new impulses of thought came with new harmonies, and entered into her with a gnawing thrill. A dreadful flash of lightning then, and the thunder close upon it. She found herself involuntarily shrinking up beside him, and looking with parted lips at his face. He turned his eyes and saw her emotion, which greatly increased the ideal element in her expressive face.

She was in the state in which woman's instinct to conceal has lost its power over her impulse to tell; and he saw it. Bending his handsome face over her till his lips almost touched her ear, he murmured, without breaking the harmonies — 'Do you very much like this piece? Eventually, due to Manson's sexual attractiveness, Cytherea almost surrenders to him, and although she does not love him, she marries him, but the marriage is never consummated.

Cytherea learns that Manston's wife did not die in fire, but he murdered her in a fit of rage. Manston is finally captured and lodged in the Casterbridge gaol, where he commits suicide. She leaves all her property to her son's widow, Cytherea, who may now be reunited with Edward, because he is free from his previous engagement.

In Desperate Remedies Hardy did not go far beyond a melodramatic and sensational plot, although the novel reveals some of his interest in the psychological development of characters, his fascination with the Wessex landscape and the use of unexpected chance events and coincidences in narrative. Quotations from Virgil, Shakespeare, Thomas Watson, Richard Crashaw, Percy Bysshe Shelley and Robert Browning have little relevance to the main plot; they are paratextual devices which provide additional information to the main authorial text as well as important intertextual contexts.

They are addressed to more sophisticated readers who are familiar with literature, and testify to Hardy's erudition and wide culture. Title usually serves as an important guide to the reader and sometimes sums up the theme of a literary work. A favourite Victorian form of a novel's title was a literary quote. Hardy was particularly fond of using quotations as titles of his novels.

It seems that Hardy wanted to write a deliberately intertextual novel, drawing not only on contemporary fiction, but also on classical mythology, the Bible, Victorian poetry. Hardy's aim was, it seems, to go beyond the narrow limits of the sensation novel and integrate his first published novel into the broad literary tradition. Hardy's conscious borrowing of names from classical mythology suggests that he intended to enrich his sensation romance with subtexts which contribute to a better rendering of characters and their actions.

For example, the name 'Cytherea' functions in the novel as a trope which recalls the goddess of love and beauty Aphrodite, also known as Cytherea Lady of Cythera. Cytherea Graye, the central character in the novel, is depicted as a free spirited and independent girl whose corporeal beauty and sexuality bear great resemblance to the mythical Aphrodite.

In Desperate Remedies Hardy evoked a known myth about Aphrodite and incorporated it into the intricate and sensational plot. Hardy, who was fascinated by the Dido and Aeneas relationship, plotted it freely into Desperate Remedies. This early novel also contains some interesting features which have been noticed by recent criticism.

The docile Cytherea is beautiful, flirtatious, and intensely aware of her sexuality" Harvey Unlike earlier Victorian authors, Hardy emphasises the physical aspect of femininity and female sexuality. To that end, in Desperate Remedies Hardy introduces a male voyeuristic gaze as a narrative point of view. It will become his favourite technique in his later novels. Her hair rested gaily upon her shoulders in curls, and was of a shining corn-yellow in the high lights, deepening to a definite nut-brown as each curl wound round into the shade.

She had eyes of a sapphire hue, though rather darker than the gem ordinarily appears: they possessed the affectionate and liquid sparkle of loyalty and good faith, as distinguishable from that harder brightness which seems to express faithfulness only to the object confronting them. In Desperate Remedies Hardy also makes use of the Gothic tradition in his presentation of love and sexual desire.

His Gothic intertextual devices include confused identities, implausible coincidences, a persecuted maiden and a villain, an old mansion instead of a Gothic castle , murder, suppressed and deviant sexuality. In the light of above, contrary to contemporary opinions, Desperate Remedies is not merely a sensation romance with heavily plotted series of accidents, improbabilities and coincidences, but also an attempt at writing a more ambitious genre.

Carl J. Ainsworth, William Harrison. Guy Fawkes or The Gunpowder Treason. London: George Routledge and Sons, n. Cosslett, Tess. Cvetkovich, Ann. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, Fisher, Joe. The Hidden Hardy. New York: St. Gerber Helmut E. Eugene Davis. Thomas Hardy. Gittings, Robert. London: Penguin Books, Hardy, Evelyn.

Desperate Remedies

Thomas Hardy: A Critical Biography. London: Hogarth Press, Hardy, Florence Emily. The Early Life of Thomas Hardy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Hardy, Thomas. Desperate Remedies. Harvey, Geoffrey. London: Routledge, Jekel, Pamela.