The Distracted Preacher. by Thomas Hardy. CHAPTER VI--THE GREAT SEARCH AT NETHER-MOYNTON. Stockdale was so excited by the events of the. Essays and criticism on Thomas Hardy, including the works “The Withered Arm”, “The Fiddler of the Reels”, “The Distracted Preacher”, “A Few Crusted. The darkly passionate short stories of Thomas Hardy are compelling explorations of love, social class, superstition and legend. This collection contains many of.


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The coming of the railroad to that village is just one sign of the disappearance of a way of life which had lasted for centuries.


Being new to town, he takes lodgings and discovers his new landlady, Lizzy Newberry, to be a beautiful young widow. The two are almost immediately attracted to the distracted preacher other and soon fall in love.

The Distracted Preacher by Thomas Hardy

Stockdale soon discovers, however, that Lizzy is not as totally respectable as she appears. Gradually, he realizes and she reveals to the distracted preacher that she is working with a group of smugglers who help to support the town during the winter and that in fact she, with her cousin Jim The distracted preacher, is a leader of the smugglers.

Naturally, the minister is shocked and disapproves of such activities, but his concern for Lizzy eventually overcomes his inhibitions. In the end, however, Stockdale cannot live with both Lizzy and his conscience, and he leaves the town to take a church elsewhere in England.

The dilemma of the preacher, caught between his strict view of morality and obedience to the state and his love for Lizzy, is presented comically.

Hardy, Thomas - The Distracted Preacher

The ending, however, is anticlimactic and disappointing. Two years after Stockdale has left the village, he returns and meets Lizzy again, learning that she has been forced to give up smuggling after a raid in which Owlett has been caught and she has been wounded.

the distracted preacher

Newberry turned her head. Her face became slowly red; she never had looked prettier, or more incomprehensible, he waved his hand affectionately, and said good-morning; she answered with the distracted preacher, having ceased her occupation on the instant that she saw him, and rolled up the coat half- cleaned.

The Distracted Preacher

Stockdale shut the window. Some simple explanation of her proceeding was doubtless within the bounds of possibility; but he himself could not the distracted preacher of one; and he wished that she had placed the matter beyond conjecture by voluntarily saying something about it there and then.


But, though Lizzy had not offered an explanation at the moment, the subject was brought forward by her at the next time of their meeting. She was chatting to him concerning some other event, and remarked that the distracted preacher happened about the time when she was dusting some old clothes that had belonged to her poor husband.

The Distracted Preacher (TV Movie ) - IMDb

The aspect of the case was now considerably darker. Stockdale was so much depressed by it that he did not challenge her explanation, or threaten to go off as a missionary to benighted islanders, or reproach her in any way whatever. the distracted preacher

He simply parted from her when she had done talking, and lived on in perplexity, till by degrees his natural manner became sad and constrained.

Stockdale the distracted preacher gone away to Knollsea in the morning, to be present at some commemoration service there, and on his return he was met by the attractive Lizzy in the passage.

  • “The Distracted Preacher” by Thomas Hardy | enywulandari's blog
  • Thomas Hardy Short Fiction Analysis - Essay -
  • The Distracted Preacher by Thomas Hardy |
  • Thomas Hardy Short Fiction Analysis - Essay

The distracted preacher influenced by the tide of cheerfulness which had attended him that day, or by the drive through the open air, or whether from a natural disposition to let bygones alone, he allowed himself to be fascinated into forgetfulness of the greatcoat incident, and upon the whole passed a pleasant evening; not so much in her society as within sound of her the distracted preacher, as she sat talking in the back parlour to her mother, till the latter went to bed.

Shortly after this Mrs.


Newberry retired, and then Stockdale prepared to go upstairs himself. But before he left the room the distracted preacher remained standing by the dying embers awhile, thinking long of one thing and another; and was only aroused by the flickering of his candle in the socket as it suddenly declined and went out.

Knowing that there were a tinder-box, matches, and another candle in his bedroom, he felt his way upstairs without a light.

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