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: Jude the Obscure, the last of Thomas Hardy's novels, began as a magazine serial and was first published in book form in 1895. Its hero, Jude Fawley, is a working-class young man who dreams of becoming a scholar. The other main character is his cousin, Sue Bridehead, who is also his central love interest. The themes in the novel revolve around issues of class, education, religion and marriage. Thomas Hardy, OM (2 June 1840 â 11 January 1928) was an English novelist and poet. A Victorian realist, in the tradition of George Eliot, he was also influenced both in his novels and poetry by Romanticism, especially by William Wordsworth. While Hardy wrote poetry throughout his life, and regarded himself primarily as a poet, his first collection was not published until 1898. Initially therefore he gained fame as the author of such novels as Far from the Madding Crowd (1874), The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886), Tess of the d'Urbervilles (1891), and Jude the Obscure (1895).