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Wessex Revisited Cover Image

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Paperback, Published in Nov 2011 by Authorhouse

ISBN10: 1456787926 | ISBN13: 9781456787929

Page count: 232

After twenty years of what most would consider a 'good' marriage, Clarissa - an attractive, talented, forty-something schoolteacher in the North of England - begins to sense an increasing dissatisfaction with life. During her first 'research trip' to Dorset in the hope of gaining inspiration to write, she meets and falls in love with Sam Melsonby. He reciprocates her feelings and encourages her talent by engaging her as a scriptwriter for 'The Group', a small, modestly funded outfit producing various arts projects. He is researching Thomas Hardy for a possible film and Clarissa, in true Hardy fashion, feels that Destiny has played a hand in their meeting. As she researches material for her novel and the script of an 'arts' film for television, she is painfully aware of the resonances between herself and Eustacia Vye - the somewhat indolent, dreamy and 'romantic' heroine of Hardy's 'The Return of the Native'. Her conscience is stung by discovering the bleak biography of Emma Bailey, who was briefly part of Hardy's household. Poor, seduced, weighed down by the responsibility of caring for a young child, she resorts to backbreaking labour and, ultimately, prostitution, to keep body and soul together, She pulls herself up from degradation to become an art teacher, able to fund her child's education at the Slade School of Art. Clarissa's personal and literary life flourish but problems with her family increase. She becomes alienated from her husband and three children for one reason or another and she begins to question the unalloyed pleasure of the search for 'fulfilling' experiences. Various events, some tinged with tragedy determine the course of the rest of her life.

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