"Christminster" (really, a view of Oxford High Street), the frontispiece to Jude the Obscure (Source: 1912 edition, held by the British Library and in the public domain). Susan E. Cook comments on these photographic frontispieces:

Hardy features photographs of Wessex locations — themselves famous locations to which people did and do take tours — in each volume comprising his collected 1912 Wessex edition of the novels. These photographs represent places that do not exist, causing us to question photographic truth and its relationship to the real. As such, the Wessex photographs reiterate the challenge to photography Hardy poses in Jude and show presence itself to be a lie — a negation. [105]

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Scan, text and formatting by Jacqueline Banerjee. You may use the image without prior permission for any purpose but you might like to (1) credit the source and (2) link your document to this URL in a web project or cite it in a print one. [Click on the image to enlarge it.]


Cook, Susan E. Victorian Negatives: Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century. SUNY Series. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2019.

Hardy, Thomas. Jude the Obscure. Wessex Ed. London: Macmillan, 1912. British Library shelfmark, 2344.h.1/3

Created 24 January 2021