The Well-Beloved: A Sketch of a Temperament
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The Well-Beloved: A Sketch of a Temperament

By Thomas Hardy
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Book Description

The Well-Beloved: A Sketch of a Temperament is a novel by Thomas Hardy, serialized in 1892, and published as a book in 1897.
The main setting of the novel, the Isle of Slingers, is based on the Isle of Portland in Dorset, southern England.
Many of Hardy's novels were set in Dorset. The Well Beloved is one of Hardy's last novels. It was first published in three-part serial form in 1892, and then revised and re-published as a book in 1897, after Hardy's last novel Jude the Obscure (1895). The novel tells the story of the sculptor Jocelyn Pierston's search for the ideal woman, through three generations of a Portland family.
A cottage housing what is now part of Portland Museum, on the Isle of Portland, founded by Marie Stopes, a friend of Hardy and his wife, was an inspiration for the book. The cottage acted as the home of Avice, the novel's heroine.
From Wikipedia (CC BY-SA).

Table of Contents
  • THE WELL-BELOVED
    • A SKETCH OF A TEMPERAMENT
    • PREFACE
  • PART FIRST — A YOUNG MAN OF TWENTY.
    • 1. I. A SUPPOSITITIOUS PRESENTMENT OF HER
    • 1. II. THE INCARNATION IS ASSUMED TO BE TRUE
    • 1. III. THE APPOINTMENT
    • 1. IV. A LONELY PEDESTRIAN
    • 1. V. A CHARGE
    • 1. VI. ON THE BRINK
    • 1. VII. HER EARLIER INCARNATIONS
    • 1. VIII. 'TOO LIKE THE LIGHTNING'
    • 1. IX. FAMILIAR PHENOMENA IN THE DISTANCE
  • PART SECOND — A YOUNG MAN OF FORTY
    • 2. I. THE OLD PHANTOM BECOMES DISTINCT
    • 2. II. SHE DRAWS CLOSE AND SATISFIES
    • 2. III. SHE BECOMES AN INACCESSIBLE GHOST
    • 2. IV. SHE THREATENS TO RESUME CORPOREAL SUBSTANCE
    • 2. V. THE RESUMPTION TAKES PLACE
    • 2. VI. THE PAST SHINES IN THE PRESENT
    • 2. VII. THE NEW BECOMES ESTABLISHED
    • 2. VIII. HIS OWN SOUL CONFRONTS HIM
    • 2. IX. JUXTAPOSITIONS
    • 2. X. SHE FAILS TO VANISH STILL
    • 2. XI. THE IMAGE PERSISTS
    • 2. XII. A GRILLE DESCENDS BETWEEN
    • 2. XIII. SHE IS ENSHROUDED FROM SIGHT
  • PART THIRD — A YOUNG MAN OF SIXTY
    • 3. I. SHE RETURNS FOR THE NEW SEASON
    • 3. II. MISGIVINGS ON THE RE-EMBODIMENT
    • 3. III. THE RENEWED IMAGE BURNS ITSELF IN
    • 3. IV. A DASH FOR THE LAST INCARNATION
    • 3. V. ON THE VERGE OF POSSESSION
    • 3. VI. THE WELL-BELOVED IS—WHERE?
    • 3. VII. AN OLD TABERNACLE IN A NEW ASPECT
    • 3. VIII. 'ALAS FOR THIS GREY SHADOW, ONCE A MAN!'
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