An Interesting Summary of Thomas Hardy’s A Laodicean

Posted: 14/07/2017 by vequinox in Literature

Interesting Literature

A synopsis of A Laodicean – a neglected Thomas Hardy novel – and an introduction to its themes

In our pick of Thomas Hardy novels, we included A Laodicean, not because we consider it among his very best (it isn’t) but because it’s such an unusual novel in his oeuvre.

Thomas Hardy’s novel A Laodicean (1881; the title is pronounced ‘LAY-oh-du-SEE-an’) is subtitled ‘a story of to-day’, and although the ‘to-day’ referred to is 1880-1, when the novel was serialised in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, there are several ways in which the novel continues to speak to us as a modern novel. Just as photography can be misused by Will Dare in the novel to give the false impression that George Somerset is in a scandalous state of drunkenness, so the modern tabloids are adept at taking photographs of politicians and celebrities which portray them in…

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