Jude the Obscure is a novel by Thomas Hardy, which began as a magazine serial in December 1894 and was first published in book form in 1895 (though the title page says 1896). It is Hardy’s last completed novel. The protagonist, Jude Fawley, is a working-class young man; he is a stonemason who dreams of becoming a scholar. The other main character is his cousin, Sue Bridehead, who is also his central love interest. The novel is concerned in particular with issues of class, education, religion, morality and marriage.