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Humanities 2018, 7(3), 66;

‘Deeds of Darkness’: Thomas Hardy and Murder

Department of English, City, University of London, London EC1V 0HB, UK
Received: 8 May 2018 / Revised: 24 June 2018 / Accepted: 25 June 2018 / Published: 28 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Victorian Art of Murder)
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Critics have often sought to place Thomas Hardy’s fiction within a realist generic framework, with a significant emphasis on Hardy’s Wessex settings, visual imagination and equation of sight with knowledge. Yet Hardy’s writings frequently disturb realist generic conventions by introducing elements from popular nineteenth-century genres, particularly sensation fiction and the Gothic. This essay considers how murder as a plot device troubles generic boundaries in the novels Desperate Remedies (1871), Far from the Madding Crowd (1874) and Tess of the d’Urbervilles (1891). Set against backgrounds with significant non-realist elements, these texts view murder and its punishment from limited, distorted or averted perspectives that articulate a significant social and cultural critique. View Full-Text
Keywords: Thomas Hardy; murder; genre; sensation fiction; realism; Gothic; framing; architecture; spatiality Thomas Hardy; murder; genre; sensation fiction; realism; Gothic; framing; architecture; spatiality
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Vuohelainen, M. ‘Deeds of Darkness’: Thomas Hardy and Murder. Humanities 2018, 7, 66.

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