PROTECTIVE DELUSIONS. We read Thomas Hardy’s “Squire Petrick’s Lady” (text here) a couple weeks ago in Carroll Stenson’s short story group. The story was told in a humorous style that I didn’t know Hardy could do. The story portrayed a man who constructs a theory to protect himself from a terrible deathbed confession from his wife. I was struck when I read it by what seemed to be an original idea of Hardy’s–that people sometime protected themselves by delusions.

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