A novel by English author Creator/ThomasHardy published in 1895. This was his final novel.

''Jude the Obscure'' tells the story of working-class man Jude Fawley, a dreamer with aspirations to become a scholar in the town of Christminster (modeled after Oxford). He learns the craft of stone masonry and has a poorly-chosen marriage as a teenager, which finally ends in separation. He moves to Christminister to pursue his dream, but is is ultimately rejected and is disillusioned from becoming a scholar. Jude meets and has an ongoing affair with his cousin Sue Bridehead, even after her marriage. He and his family face a never-ending series of hardships, tragedies and disappointments.

Some of the themes in the novel are the limits of class structure in Britain, ill-fated love and marriage, and adultery.

Filmed in 1996 by Creator/MichaelWinterbottom as ''Jude'' starring Creator/ChristopherEccleston and Creator/KateWinslet.
!!This Work Contains Examples Of:

* {{Asexuality}}: [[spoiler: Sue]] is apparently this; one of the tragedies is the love between a heterosexual man and an asexual woman.
* {{Bowdlerise}}: the sex content has changed between editions, with one early critic calling the book 'Jude the Obscene'. Considering the amount of pregnancy real or at least plausible in the novel, taking it out entirely merely leaves the audience a little confused.
* TheBabyTrap:[[spoiler: Arabella]] convinces Jude to marry her although she was not really pregnant.
* BornUnlucky: It always gets worse for Jude. No matter how hard he strives, poor guy.
* BungledSuicide:
** Both Jude and Sue fail spectacularly at committing suicide.
** Their survival becomes bitterly ironic when [[spoiler: their young children]] avert this trope.
* CallToAgriculture: Subverted, as it turns out. Jude and Arabella raise a pig. In one of the novel's disturbing scenes, the butcher fails to show up and Jude has to kill the pig, which causes him great distress (and Arabella none at all, except that she would like it killed slower so the meat is less bloody).
* ComedyOfRemarriage: Couples made up and separated are joined together at the end again. Although there is nothing comedic in it.
* CreepyChild: "Little Father Time" is a weird boy with very un-childlike and unsettling behaviour. He is treated nicely enough and with understanding, but it doesn't help and he stays really strange and creepy.
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler: Jude's children ended dead in a murder/suicide. Sue miscarried their baby. She also returned to her husband, utterly screwed up and beating herself up morally, convinced that she had been justly punished. Jude dies alone, having lost the love of his life, while his wife flirts with a doctor.]]
* DrowningMySorrows: Jude drinks frequently, resulting in his famous scene, reciting the creed in Latin while intoxicated.
* FromBadToWorse: Essentially the whole book.
* HystericalWoman: Sue. She gets worse as time goes on.
* IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy: At first, Phillotson helps Sue leave him for Jude, even though it means losing his job and social standing for abetting adultery. [[spoiler: She does come back to him, but not to be happy.]]
* KissingCousins: Jude and Sue are cousins, and furthermore their family has notoriously bad luck in marriages.
* LawOfInverseFertility: Sue keeps having children with Jude as a means of punishing herself, even though she is asexual.
* MayDecemberRomance
* MeaningfulName:
** Fawley sounds like "folly" and Jude is the patron saint of the impossible.
** Bridehead is possibly a pun on maidenhead, which means virginity. Sue is asexual and disliked sex. Possibly a Darwinian message to say how the sensitive people are doomed never to survive and propagate descendants.
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: Jude's oldest son is known only as "Little Father Time".
* {{Oxbridge}}: Christminster is a [[NoCommunitiesWereHarmed thinly veiled version]] of Oxford. He writes to Biblioll College, trying to study there, which sounds suspiciously like Balliol.
* PaterFamilicide: [[spoiler: It's Jude's oldest son, not Jude himself, who kills himself and his siblings out of desperation, the family is already poor and there's another child on the way.]]
* PokeThePoodle: After getting a snide rejection letter from [[spoiler: Christminster]], Jude is so depressed that he vandalizes the college by writing a Bible verse on the gates. In chalk.
* WalkingTheEarth: Jude and Sue and their family cannot stay in one place for long, because when people realize they're [[spoiler: not married]], they're no longer welcome anywhere.
* WideEyedIdealist: Jude refuses to step on earthworms, thinks birds deserve a share of the farmer's grain, and believes that a manual laborer who lacks a formal education, not to mention money, can get into [[{{Oxbridge}} Christminster]] if he asks nicely enough.