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First Published in 2003. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
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Hardy's heroes tend to espouse a particular set of values, which we might call the ideal of the gentleman. This ideal is, to a degree, paternalistic, class-conscious, and patriarchal, implying a certain kind of masculine heroism primarily associated with the upper levels of society, and forming one of the main reasons for the enduring popularity of Hardy's fiction and the nostalgia that frequently attaches to his works in the popular imagination. Patriarchy and its Discontents considers the persistence of this ideal among Hardy's protagonists and the development of his sexual politics by examining a range of his fiction, including his most celebrated as well as some lesser known novels and stories. Although previous studies of Hardy's fiction have examined social class and gender issues in his work, none has focused exclusively on the problems facing Hardy's male protagonists and the ways in which these important characters attempt to define their identity and their position in society.
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