Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
A Child of One's OwnParental Stories$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Rachel Bowlby

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199607945

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199607945.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 24 September 2018

Parental Secrets in Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge

Parental Secrets in Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge

(p.202) 12 Parental Secrets in Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge
A Child of One's Own

Rachel Bowlby

Oxford University Press

Alluding to famous lines from the poet Thomas Gray—‘Where ignorance is bliss | ’Tis folly to be wise’—a character in Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge decides not to tell her daughter ‘the true story of her life’. What that true story is, is itself a question in the novel, which is partly about the power of parental secrets, perceived as such, to generate their own effects from the very fact of there being something that is not disclosed. The chapter also considers another Hardy novel, Far from the Madding Crowd, which involves a well-meaning and deliberate erasure of a parental truth. These examples lead to a discussion of the changing landscape of family secrets in contemporary society—when topics such as donor conception have taken the place of earlier subjects of secrecy such as illegitimacy and adoption.

Keywords:   parental secrets, illegitimacy, untold stories, Hardy, the mayor of casterbridge, Hardy, far from the madding crowd, donor conception

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .