“Making the university less exclusive”: the legacy of Jude the Obscure

Memel, J. (2017) “Making the university less exclusive”: the legacy of Jude the Obscure. Neo-Victorian Studies, 10 (1). pp. 64-82. ISSN 1757-9481

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Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure (1895) condemns an elite and inaccessible system of Victorian higher education. While the influence of the novel on the social and political discourses of the 1890s is well known, its subsequent appearance in twentieth- and twenty-first-century debates on university access remains less recognised. The four non-literary texts considered in this essay evoke Jude the Obscure in order to highlight particular aspects of higher education in their own time. They understand Jude in radically different ways, associating Hardy’s character with either progressive or conservative conceptions of universities. This essay ends by considering recent developments surrounding access to higher education. It suggests that the continuing timeliness of Jude the Obscure comes from its imaginative evocation of a set of problems that remain unsolved.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: © 2020 Swansea University. This is the final published version an article in open access journal Neo-Victorian Studies. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Depositing User: Jonathan Memel
Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2020 10:38
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2021 15:40
URI: https://bgro.repository.guildhe.ac.uk/id/eprint/712

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