One of Shakespeare's comedies, this is the tale of the feisty Beatrice, who wants never to get married, and most especially not to Benedick, or so she says. This study edition contains the text and a commentary upon it.
She is only fourteen, he is only a few years older. Their families are bitter enemies, sworn to hatred. Yet Romeo and Juliet meet and fall passionately in love. Defying their parents wishes, they are secretly married but their brief happiness is shattered by fate. This famous pair of star-crossed lovers lives forever in Shakespeare's haunting play.
The 'progress' of the modern industrialised world had led to the carnage of the First World War. What, then, did it mean to call ourselves 'human'? What are the definitive forms of our relationships - love, marriage, family, friendship - really worth? Without directly referring to the war, this novel explores these questions.
The novel is set in impoverished rural England, Thomas Hardy's fictional Wessex, during the Long Depression of the 1870s. Tess is the oldest child of John and Joan Durbeyfield, uneducated peasants; however, John is given the impression by Parson Tringham that he may have noble blood, since "Durbeyfield" is a corruption of "D'Urberville", the surname of a noble Norman family, then extinct. The news immediately goes to John's head.