Thomas Hardy

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Thomas Hardy

OM
Thomashardy restored.jpg
Hardy between about 1910 and 1915
Born(1840-06-02)2 June 1840
Stinsford, Dorset, England
Died11 January 1928(1928-01-11) (aged 87)
Dorchester, Dorset, England
Resting place
Occupation Novelist, poet, and short story writer
Alma mater King's College London
Literary movement Naturalism, Victorian literature
Notable works Tess of the d'Urbervilles ,
Far from the Madding Crowd ,
The Mayor of Casterbridge ,
Collected Poems
Jude the Obscure
Spouse

Signature Thomas Hardy signature.svg

Thomas Hardy OM (2 June 1840 – 11 January 1928) was an English novelist and poet. A Victorian realist in the tradition of George Eliot, he was influenced both in his novels and in his poetry by Romanticism, especially William Wordsworth. [1] He was highly critical of much in Victorian society, especially on the declining status of rural people in Britain, such as those from his native South West England.

Literary realism is part of the realist art movement beginning with mid-nineteenth-century French literature (Stendhal), and Russian literature and extending to the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Literary realism attempts to represent familiar things as they are. Realist authors chose to depict everyday and banal activities and experiences, instead of using a romanticized or similarly stylized presentation.

George Eliot English novelist, essayist and translator

Mary Ann Evans, known by her pen name George Eliot, was an English novelist, poet, journalist, translator, and one of the leading writers of the Victorian era. She wrote seven novels, including Adam Bede (1859), The Mill on the Floss (1860), Silas Marner (1861), Romola (1862–63), Middlemarch (1871–72), and Daniel Deronda (1876), most of which are set in provincial England and known for their realism and psychological insight.

Romanticism period of artistic, literary, and intellectual movement that started in 18th century Europe

Romanticism was an artistic, literary, musical and intellectual movement that originated in Europe toward the end of the 18th century, and in most areas was at its peak in the approximate period from 1800 to 1850. Romanticism was characterized by its emphasis on emotion and individualism as well as glorification of all the past and nature, preferring the medieval rather than the classical. It was partly a reaction to the Industrial Revolution, the aristocratic social and political norms of the Age of Enlightenment, and the scientific rationalization of nature—all components of modernity. It was embodied most strongly in the visual arts, music, and literature, but had a major impact on historiography, education, the social sciences, and the natural sciences. It had a significant and complex effect on politics, with romantic thinkers influencing liberalism, radicalism, conservatism and nationalism.

Contents

While Hardy wrote poetry throughout his life and regarded himself primarily as a poet, his first collection was not published until 1898. Initially, therefore, he gained fame as the author of such novels as Far from the Madding Crowd (1874), The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886), Tess of the d'Urbervilles (1891), and Jude the Obscure (1895). During his lifetime, Hardy's poetry was acclaimed by younger poets (particularly the Georgians) who viewed him as a mentor. After his death his poems were lauded by Ezra Pound, W. H. Auden and Philip Larkin. [2]

<i>Far from the Madding Crowd</i> novel

Far from the Madding Crowd (1874) is Thomas Hardy's fourth novel and his first major literary success. It originally appeared anonymously as a monthly serial in Cornhill Magazine, where it gained a wide readership.

<i>The Mayor of Casterbridge</i> 1886 novel by Thomas Hardy

The Mayor of Casterbridge: The Life and Death of a Man of Character is an 1886 novel by the English author Thomas Hardy. One of Hardy's Wessex novels, it is set in a fictional rural England with Casterbridge standing in for Dorchester in Dorset where the author spent his youth. It was first published as a weekly serialisation from January 1886.

<i>Tess of the dUrbervilles</i> novel by Thomas Hardy

Tess of the d'Urbervilles: A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented is a novel by Thomas Hardy. It initially appeared in a censored and serialised version, published by the British illustrated newspaper The Graphic in 1891, then in book form in three volumes in 1891, and as a single volume in 1892. Though now considered a major nineteenth-century English novel and possibly Hardy's fictional masterpiece, Tess of the d'Urbervilles received mixed reviews when it first appeared, in part because it challenged the sexual morals of late Victorian England.

Many of his novels concern tragic characters struggling against their passions and social circumstances, and they are often set in the semi-fictional region of Wessex; initially based on the medieval Anglo-Saxon kingdom, Hardy's Wessex eventually came to include the counties of Dorset, Wiltshire, Somerset, Devon, Hampshire and much of Berkshire, in southwest and south central England. Two of his novels, Tess of the d'Urbervilles and Far from the Madding Crowd, were listed in the top 50 on the BBC's survey The Big Read. [3]

Wessex Anglo-Saxon kingdom in the south of Great Britain

Wessex was an Anglo-Saxon kingdom in the south of Great Britain, from 519 until England was unified by Æthelstan in the early 10th century.

Thomas Hardys Wessex

The English author Thomas Hardy set all of his major novels in the south and southwest of England. He named the area "Wessex" after the medieval Anglo-Saxon kingdom that existed in this part of that country prior to the unification of England by Æthelstan. Although the places that appear in his novels actually exist, in many cases he gave the place a fictional name. For example, Hardy's home town of Dorchester is called Casterbridge in his books, notably in The Mayor of Casterbridge. In an 1895 preface to the novel Far From the Madding Crowd he described Wessex as "a merely realistic dream country".

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters are at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London, and it is the world's oldest national broadcasting organisation and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees. It employs over 20,950 staff in total, 16,672 of whom are in public sector broadcasting. The total number of staff is 35,402 when part-time, flexible, and fixed-contract staff are included.

Life and career

Early life

"The Hardy Tree" in Old St Pancras churchyard, growing between gravestones moved while Hardy was working there 2780theHardyTreeOldStPancrasChurchyard.jpg
"The Hardy Tree" in Old St Pancras churchyard, growing between gravestones moved while Hardy was working there

Thomas Hardy was born on 2 June 1840 in Higher Bockhampton (then Upper Bockhampton), a hamlet in the parish of Stinsford to the east of Dorchester in Dorset, England, where his father Thomas (1811–1892) worked as a stonemason and local builder, and married his mother Jemima (née Hand; [4] 1813–1904) in Beaminster, towards the end of 1839. [5] Jemima was well-read, and she educated Thomas until he went to his first school at Bockhampton at the age of eight. For several years he attended Mr. Last's Academy for Young Gentlemen in Dorchester, where he learned Latin and demonstrated academic potential. [6] Because Hardy's family lacked the means for a university education, his formal education ended at the age of sixteen, when he became apprenticed to James Hicks, a local architect. [7]

Stinsford village in the United Kingdom

Stinsford is a village and civil parish in southwest Dorset, England, one mile east of Dorchester. The parish includes the settlements of Higher and Lower Bockhampton. The name Stinsford may derive from stynt, Old English for a limited area of pasture. In the 2011 census the parish had a population of 334.

Dorchester, Dorset County town of Dorset, England

Dorchester is the county town of Dorset, England. It is situated between Poole and Bridport on the A35 trunk route. A historic market town, Dorchester is on the banks of the River Frome to the south of the Dorset Downs and north of the South Dorset Ridgeway that separates the area from Weymouth, 7 miles (11 km) to the south. The civil parish includes the small town of Poundbury and the suburb of Fordington.

Hardy trained as an architect in Dorchester before moving to London in 1862; there he enrolled as a student at King's College London. He won prizes from the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Architectural Association. He joined Arthur Blomfield's practice as assistant architect in April 1862 and worked with Blomfield on All Saints' parish church in Windsor, Berkshire in 1862–64. A reredos, possibly designed by Hardy, was discovered behind panelling at All Saints' in August 2016. [8] [9] In the mid-1860s, Hardy was in charge of the excavation of part of the graveyard of St Pancras Old Church prior to its destruction when the Midland Railway was extended to a new terminus at St Pancras. [10]

Kings College London public research university located in London, United Kingdom

King's College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom, and a founding college and member institution of the federal University of London. King's was established in 1829 by King George IV and Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, when it received its first royal charter, and claims to be the fourth oldest university institution in England. In 1836, King's became one of the two founding colleges of the University of London. In the late 20th century, King's grew through a series of mergers, including with Queen Elizabeth College and Chelsea College of Science and Technology, the Institute of Psychiatry, the United Medical and Dental Schools of Guy's and St Thomas' Hospitals and the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery.

Royal Institute of British Architects professional body for architects primarily in the United Kingdom

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is a professional body for architects primarily in the United Kingdom, but also internationally, founded for the advancement of architecture under its charter granted in 1837 and Supplemental Charter granted in 1971.

Architectural Association School of Architecture independent school of architecture in the UK

The Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, commonly referred to as the AA, is the oldest independent school of architecture in the UK and one of the most prestigious and competitive in the world. Its wide-ranging programme of exhibitions, lectures, symposia and publications have given it a central position in global discussions and developments within contemporary architectural culture.

Hardy never felt at home in London, because he was acutely conscious of class divisions and his social inferiority. During this time he became interested in social reform and the works of John Stuart Mill. He was also introduced by his Dorset friend Horace Moule to the works of Charles Fourier and Auguste Comte. After five years, concerned about his health, he returned to Dorset, settling in Weymouth, and decided to dedicate himself to writing.

John Stuart Mill British philosopher and political economist

John Stuart Mill, usually cited as J. S. Mill, was a British philosopher, political economist, and civil servant. One of the most influential thinkers in the history of classical liberalism, he contributed widely to social theory, political theory, and political economy. Dubbed "the most influential English-speaking philosopher of the nineteenth century", Mill's conception of liberty justified the freedom of the individual in opposition to unlimited state and social control.

Horatio Mosley Moule (1832–1873) was the fourth son of Anglican priest and inventor Henry Moule, and is best remembered as a friend of Thomas Hardy. He was generally known as Horace, to distinguish him from his Uncle Horatio, after whom he was named.

Charles Fourier French utopian socialist and philosopher

François Marie Charles Fourier was a French philosopher, influential early socialist thinker and one of the founders of utopian socialism. Some of Fourier's social and moral views, held to be radical in his lifetime, have become mainstream thinking in modern society. For instance, Fourier is credited with having originated the word "feminism" in 1837.

Marriage and novel writing

Max Gate in 2015 Max Gate.jpg
Max Gate in 2015

In 1870, while on an architectural mission to restore the parish church of St Juliot in Cornwall, [11] Hardy met and fell in love with Emma Gifford, whom he married in Kensington in the autumn of 1874. [5] [12] [13] renting St David's Villa, Southborough (now Surbiton) for a year. In 1885 Thomas and his wife moved into Max Gate, a house designed by Hardy and built by his brother. Although they later became estranged, Emma's subsequent death in 1912 had a traumatic effect on him and after her death, Hardy made a trip to Cornwall to revisit places linked with their courtship; his Poems 1912–13 reflect upon her death. In 1914, Hardy married his secretary Florence Emily Dugdale, who was 39 years his junior. However, he remained preoccupied with his first wife's death and tried to overcome his remorse by writing poetry. In his later years, he kept a Wire Fox Terrier named Wessex, who was notoriously ill-tempered. Wessex's grave stone can be found on the Max Gate grounds. [14] [15] In 1910, Hardy had been appointed a Member of the Order of Merit and was also for the first time nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature. He would be nominated again for the prize eleven years later. [16] [17]

Final years

Florence Hardy at the seashore, 1915 Florence Hardy at the seaside 1915.jpg
Florence Hardy at the seashore, 1915

Hardy became ill with pleurisy in December 1927 and died at Max Gate just after 9 pm on 11 January 1928, having dictated his final poem to his wife on his deathbed; the cause of death was cited, on his death certificate, as "cardiac syncope", with "old age" given as a contributory factor. His funeral was on 16 January at Westminster Abbey, and it proved a controversial occasion because Hardy had wished for his body to be interred at Stinsford in the same grave as his first wife, Emma. His family and friends concurred; however, his executor, Sir Sydney Carlyle Cockerell, insisted that he be placed in the abbey's famous Poets' Corner. A compromise was reached whereby his heart was buried at Stinsford with Emma, and his ashes in Poets' Corner. [18] Hardy's estate at death was valued at £95,418 (£5647015 in 2015 sterling). [19]

Shortly after Hardy's death, the executors of his estate burnt his letters and notebooks, but twelve notebooks survived, one of them containing notes and extracts of newspaper stories from the 1820s, and research into these has provided insight into how Hardy used them in his works. [20] In the year of his death Mrs Hardy published The Early Life of Thomas Hardy, 1841–1891, compiled largely from contemporary notes, letters, diaries, and biographical memoranda, as well as from oral information in conversations extending over many years.

Hardy's work was admired by many younger writers, including D. H. Lawrence, [21] John Cowper Powys, and Virginia Woolf. [22] In his autobiography Goodbye to All That (1929), Robert Graves recalls meeting Hardy in Dorset in the early 1920s and how Hardy received him and his new wife warmly, and was encouraging about his work.

Hardy's birthplace in Bockhampton and his house Max Gate, both in Dorchester, are owned by the National Trust.

Novels

Thomas Hardy's birthplace and cottage at Higher Bockhampton, where Under the Greenwood Tree and Far from the Madding Crowd were written Thomas Hardy's Cottage, Bockhampton, Dorset.jpg
Thomas Hardy's birthplace and cottage at Higher Bockhampton, where Under the Greenwood Tree and Far from the Madding Crowd were written
View of the River Frome from the bridge at Lower Bockhampton. In Tess of the d'Urbervilles the lowland vale of the river is described as the Vale of the Great Dairies, in comparison to Tess's home, the fertile Vale of Blackmore, which is the Vale of Little Dairies. Thomas Hardy Locations, Tess of the Durbervilles (1) - geograph.org.uk - 707277.jpg
View of the River Frome from the bridge at Lower Bockhampton. In Tess of the d'Urbervilles the lowland vale of the river is described as the Vale of the Great Dairies, in comparison to Tess's home, the fertile Vale of Blackmore, which is the Vale of Little Dairies.

Hardy's first novel, The Poor Man and the Lady , finished by 1867, failed to find a publisher. He then showed it to his mentor and friend, the Victorian poet and novelist, George Meredith, who felt that The Poor Man and the Lady would be too politically controversial and might damage Hardy's ability to publish in the future. So Hardy followed his advice and he did not try further to publish it. He subsequently destroyed the manuscript, but used some of the ideas in his later work. [23]

After he abandoned his first novel, Hardy wrote two new ones that he hoped would have more commercial appeal, Desperate Remedies (1871) and Under the Greenwood Tree (1872), both of which were published anonymously; it was while working on the latter that he met Emma Gifford, who would become his wife. [23] In 1873 A Pair of Blue Eyes , a novel drawing on Hardy's courtship of Emma, was published under his own name. The term "cliffhanger" is considered to have originated with the serialised version of this story (which was published in Tinsley's Magazine between September 1872 and July 1873) in which Henry Knight, one of the protagonists, is left literally hanging off a cliff. [24]

In his next novel Far from the Madding Crowd (1874), Hardy first introduced the idea of calling the region in the west of England, where his novels are set, Wessex. Wessex had been the name of an early Saxon kingdom, in approximately the same part of England. Far from the Madding Crowd was successful enough for Hardy to give up architectural work and pursue a literary career. Over the next twenty-five years Hardy produced ten more novels.

Subsequently, the Hardys moved from London to Yeovil, and then to Sturminster Newton, where he wrote The Return of the Native (1878). [25] Hardy published Two on a Tower in 1882, a romance story set in the world of astronomy. Then in 1885, they moved for the last time, to Max Gate, a house outside Dorchester designed by Hardy and built by his brother. There he wrote The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886), The Woodlanders (1887), and Tess of the d'Urbervilles (1891), the last of which attracted criticism for its sympathetic portrayal of a "fallen woman" and was initially refused publication. Its subtitle, A Pure Woman: Faithfully Presented, was intended to raise the eyebrows of the Victorian middle classes.

A major location of The Return of the Native as part of Hardy's fictional Egdon Heath. Thomas Hardy Locations, Return of the Native - geograph.org.uk - 786542.jpg
A major location of The Return of the Native as part of Hardy's fictional Egdon Heath.

Jude the Obscure , published in 1895, met with an even stronger negative response from the Victorian public because of its controversial treatment of sex, religion and marriage. Furthermore, its apparent attack on the institution of marriage caused further strain on Hardy's already difficult marriage because Emma Hardy was concerned that Jude the Obscure would be read as autobiographical. Some booksellers sold the novel in brown paper bags, and the Bishop of Wakefield, Walsham How, is reputed to have burnt his copy. [20] In his postscript of 1912, Hardy humorously referred to this incident as part of the career of the book: "After these [hostile] verdicts from the press its next misfortune was to be burnt by a bishop – probably in his despair at not being able to burn me". [26] Despite this, Hardy had become a celebrity by the 1900s, but some argue that he gave up writing novels because of the criticism of both Tess of the D'Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure. [27] The Well-Beloved , first serialised in 1892, was published in 1897.

Hardy painted by William Strang, 1893 Thomas Hardy by William Strang 1893.jpg
Hardy painted by William Strang, 1893

Literary themes

Considered a Victorian realist, Hardy examines the social constraints on the lives of those living in Victorian England, and criticises those beliefs, especially those relating to marriage, education and religion, that limited people's lives and caused unhappiness. Such unhappiness, and the suffering it brings, is seen by poet Philip Larkin as central in Hardy's works:

"What is the intensely maturing experience of which Hardy's modern man is most sensible? In my view it is suffering, or sadness, and extended consideration of the centrality of suffering in Hardy's work should be the first duty of the true critic for which the work is still waiting [. . .] Any approach to his work, as to any writer's work, must seek first of all to determine what element is peculiarly his, which imaginative note he strikes most plangently, and to deny that in this case it is the sometimes gentle, sometimes ironic, sometimes bitter but always passive apprehension of suffering is, I think, wrong-headed." [28]

In Two on a Tower, for example, Hardy takes a stand against these rules of society with a story of love that crosses the boundaries of class. The reader is forced to reconsider the conventions set up by society for the relationships between women and men. Nineteenth-century society had conventions, which were enforced. In this novel Swithin St Cleeve's idealism pits him against such contemporary social constraints.

In a novel structured around contrasts, the main opposition is between Swithin St Cleeve and Lady Viviette Constantine, who are presented as binary figures in a series of ways: aristocratic and lower class, youthful and mature, single and married, fair and dark, religious and agnostic...she [Lady Viviette Constantine] is also deeply conventional, absurdly wishing to conceal their marriage until Swithin has achieved social status through his scientific work, which gives rise to uncontrolled ironies and tragic-comic misunderstandings. [29]

Fate or chance is another important theme. Hardy's characters often encounter crossroads on a journey, a junction that offers alternative physical destinations but which is also symbolic of a point of opportunity and transition, further suggesting that fate is at work. Far From the Madding Crowd is an example of a novel in which chance has a major role: "Had Bathsheba not sent the valentine, had Fanny not missed her wedding, for example, the story would have taken an entirely different path." [30] Indeed, Hardy's main characters often seem to be held in fate's overwhelming grip.

Poetry

Thomas Hardy by Walter William Ouless, 1922 Thomas Hardy by Walter William Ouless.jpg
Thomas Hardy by Walter William Ouless, 1922

For online poems, see "Poetry collections" below.

In 1898 Hardy published his first volume of poetry, Wessex Poems , a collection of poems written over 30 years. While some suggest that Hardy gave up writing novels following the harsh criticism of Jude the Obscure in 1896, the poet C. H. Sisson calls this "hypothesis" "superficial and absurd". [27] [31] In the twentieth century Hardy published only poetry.

Thomas Hardy wrote in a great variety of poetic forms including lyrics, ballads, satire, dramatic monologues, and dialogue, as well as a three-volume epic closet drama The Dynasts (1904–08), [32] and though in some ways a very traditional poet, because he was influenced by folksong and ballads, [33] he "was never conventional," and "persistently experiment[ed] with different, often invented, stanza forms and metres, [34] and made use of "rough-hewn rhythms and colloquial diction". [35]

Hardy wrote a number of significant war poems that relate to both the Boer Wars and World War I, including "Drummer Hodge", "In Time of 'The Breaking of Nations'", and "The Man He Killed"; his work had a profound influence on other war poets such as Rupert Brooke and Siegfried Sassoon. [36] Hardy in these poems often used the viewpoint of ordinary soldiers and their colloquial speech. [36] A theme in the Wessex Poems is the long shadow that the Napoleonic Wars cast over the nineteenth century, as seen, for example, in "The Sergeant's Song" and "Leipzig". [37] The Napoleonic War is the subject of The Dynasts.

Some of Hardy's most famous poems are from "Poems of 1912–13", part of Satires of Circumstance (1914), written following the death of his wife Emma in 1912. They had been estranged for twenty years and these lyric poems express deeply felt "regret and remorse". [36] Poems like “After a Journey,” “The Voice,” and others from this collection "are by general consent regarded as the peak of his poetic achievement". [32] In a recent biography on Hardy, Claire Tomalin argues that Hardy became a truly great English poet after the death of his first wife, Emma, beginning with these elegies, which she describes as among "the finest and strangest celebrations of the dead in English poetry." [38]

A portrait of Thomas Hardy in 1923 Thomas Hardy (1923 portrait).jpg
A portrait of Thomas Hardy in 1923

Many of Hardy's poems deal with themes of disappointment in love and life, and "the perversity of fate", but the best of them present these themes with "a carefully controlled elegiac feeling". [39] Irony is also an important element in a number of Hardy's poems, including "The Man he Killed" and "Are You Digging on My Grave". [40] A few of Hardy's poems, such as "The Blinded Bird", a melancholy polemic against the sport of vinkenzetting , reflect his firm stance against animal cruelty, exhibited also in his antivivisectionist views and his membership in The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. [41]

A number of notable English composers, including Gerald Finzi, [42] [43] Benjamin Britten, [44] and Gustav Holst, [45] set poems by Hardy to music. Holst also wrote the orchestral tone poem Egdon Heath: A Homage to Thomas Hardy in 1927.

Although his poems were initially not as well received as his novels had been, Hardy is now recognised as one of the greatest twentieth-century poets, and his verse has had a profound influence on later writers, including Robert Frost, W. H. Auden, Dylan Thomas, and, most notably Philip Larkin. [35] Larkin included twenty-seven poems by Hardy compared with only nine by T. S. Eliot in his edition of the Oxford Book of Twentieth Century English Verse in 1973. [46] There were also fewer poems by W. B. Yeats. [47]

Religious beliefs

Thomas Hardy aged 70, by William Strang Thomas Hardy aged 70, by William Strang.jpg
Thomas Hardy aged 70, by William Strang

Hardy's family was Anglican, but not especially devout. He was baptised at the age of five weeks and attended church, where his father and uncle contributed to music. However, he did not attend the local Church of England school, instead being sent to Mr Last's school, three miles away. As a young adult, he befriended Henry R. Bastow (a Plymouth Brethren man), who also worked as a pupil architect, and who was preparing for adult baptism in the Baptist Church. Hardy flirted with conversion, but decided against it. [48] Bastow went to Australia and maintained a long correspondence with Hardy, but eventually Hardy tired of these exchanges and the correspondence ceased. This concluded Hardy's links with the Baptists.

The irony and struggles of life, coupled with his naturally curious mind, led him to question the traditional Christian view of God:

The Christian God – the external personality – has been replaced by the intelligence of the First Cause...the replacement of the old concept of God as all-powerful by a new concept of universal consciousness. The 'tribal god, man-shaped, fiery-faced and tyrannous' is replaced by the 'unconscious will of the Universe' which progressively grows aware of itself and 'ultimately, it is to be hoped, sympathetic'. [49]

Scholars have debated Hardy's religious leanings for years, often unable to reach a consensus. However, Hardy's religious life seems to have mixed agnosticism, deism, and spiritism. Once, when asked in correspondence by a clergyman, Dr A. B. Grosart, about the question of reconciling the horrors of human and animal life with "the absolute goodness and non-limitation of God", [50] Hardy replied,

Mr. Hardy regrets that he is unable to offer any hypothesis which would reconcile the existence of such evils as Dr. Grosart describes with the idea of omnipotent goodness. Perhaps Dr. Grosart might be helped to a provisional view of the universe by the recently published Life of Darwin and the works of Herbert Spencer and other agnostics. [51]

Hardy frequently conceived of, and wrote about, supernatural forces, particularly those that control the universe through indifference or caprice, a force he called The Immanent Will. He also showed in his writing some degree of fascination with ghosts and spirits. [51] Even so, he retained a strong emotional attachment to the Christian liturgy and church rituals, particularly as manifested in rural communities, that had been such a formative influence in his early years, and Biblical references can be found woven throughout many of Hardy's novels.

Hardy's friends during his apprenticeship to John Hicks included Horace Moule (one of the eight sons of Henry Moule), and the poet William Barnes, both ministers of religion. Moule remained a close friend of Hardy's for the rest of his life, and introduced him to new scientific findings that cast doubt on literal interpretations of the Bible, [52] such as those of Gideon Mantell. Moule gave Hardy a copy of Mantell's book The Wonders of Geology (1848) in 1858, and Adelene Buckland has suggested that there are "compelling similarities" between the "cliffhanger" section from A Pair of Blue Eyes and Mantell's geological descriptions. It has also been suggested that the character of Henry Knight in A Pair of Blue Eyes was based on Horace Moule. [53]

Grave of Thomas Hardy's heart at Stinsford parish church Thomas Hardy's heart.JPG
Grave of Thomas Hardy's heart at Stinsford parish church

Locations in novels

Sites associated with Hardy's own life and which inspired the settings of his novels continue to attract literary tourists and casual visitors. For locations in Hardy's novels see: Thomas Hardy's Wessex, and the Thomas Hardy's Wessex [54] research site, which includes maps. [55]

Influence

Hardy corresponded with and visited Lady Catherine Milnes Gaskell at Wenlock Abbey and many of Lady Catherine's books are inspired by Hardy, who was very fond of her. [56]

D. H. Lawrence's Study of Thomas Hardy (1936) indicates the importance of Hardy for him, even though this work is a platform for Lawrence's own developing philosophy rather than a more standard literary study. The influence of Hardy's treatment of character, and Lawrence's own response to the central metaphysic behind many of Hardy's novels, helped significantly in the development of The Rainbow (1915) and Women in Love (1920). [57]

Wood and Stone (1915), the first novel by John Cowper Powys, who was a contemporary of Lawrence, was "Dedicated with devoted admiration to the greatest poet and novelist of our age Thomas Hardy". [58] Powys's later novel Maiden Castle (1936) is set in Dorchester, Hardy's Casterbridge, and was intended by Powys to be a "rival" to Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge . [59] Maiden Castle is the last of Powys's so-called Wessex novels, Wolf Solent (1929), A Glastonbury Romance (1932), and Weymouth Sands (1934), which are set in Somerset and Dorset. [60]

Hardy was clearly the starting point for the character of the novelist Edward Driffield in W. Somerset Maugham's novel Cakes and Ale (1930). [61] Thomas Hardy's works also feature prominently in the American playwright Christopher Durang's The Marriage of Bette and Boo (1985), in which a graduate thesis analysing Tess of the d'Urbervilles is interspersed with analysis of Matt's family's neuroses. [62]

Hardy has been a significant influence on Nigel Blackwell, frontman of the post-punk British rock band Half Man Half Biscuit, who has often incorporated phrases (some obscure) by or about Hardy, into his song lyrics. [63]

Works

The title page from a first edition of Far from the Madding Crowd (1874) Far-From-The-Madding-Crowd-1874-Title-Page.jpg
The title page from a first edition of Far from the Madding Crowd (1874)

Prose

Hardy divided his novels and collected short stories into three classes:[ citation needed ]

Novels of character and environment

Romances and fantasies

Novels of ingenuity

Hardy also produced a number of minor tales; one story, The Spectre of the Real (1894) was written in collaboration with Florence Henniker. [64] An additional short-story collection, beyond the ones mentioned above, is A Changed Man and Other Tales (1913). His works have been collected as the 24-volume Wessex Edition (1912–13) and the 37-volume Mellstock Edition (1919–20). His largely self-written biography appears under his second wife's name in two volumes from 1928 to 1930, as The Early Life of Thomas Hardy, 1840–91 and The Later Years of Thomas Hardy, 1892–1928, now published in a critical one-volume edition as The Life and Work of Thomas Hardy, edited by Michael Millgate (1984).

Short stories (with date of first publication)

Poetry collections

Online poems: Poems by Thomas Hardy [65] at Poetry Foundation and Poems by Thomas Hardy at poemhunter.com [66]

Drama

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T. F. Powys British novelist and short story writer

Theodore Francis Powys – published as T. F. Powys – was a British novelist and short-story writer. He is best remembered for his allegorical novel Mr. Weston's Good Wine (1927), where Weston the wine merchant is evidently God. Powys was influenced by the Bible, John Bunyan, Jonathan Swift and other writers of the 17th and 18th centuries, as well as later writers such as Thomas Hardy and Friederich Nietzsche.

Max Gate Grade I listed historic house museum in West Dorset, United Kingdom

Max Gate is the former home of Thomas Hardy and is located on the outskirts of Dorchester, Dorset, England. It was designed and built by Thomas Hardy for his own use in 1885 and he lived there until his death in 1928. In 1940 it was bequeathed to the National Trust by Hardy's sister and is now open to the public. It was designated as a Grade I listed building on 8 May 1970.

George Turberville English poet

George Turberville, or Turbervile was an English poet.

<i>Wessex Poems and Other Verses</i> poems by English writer Thomas Hardy

Wessex Poems and Other Verses is a collection of fifty-one poems set against the bleak and forbidding Dorset landscape by English writer Thomas Hardy. It was first published in 1898 by New York: Harper, ISBN 1-58734-021-6, and contained a number of illustrations by the author himself.

Egdon Heath

Egdon Heath is a fictitious area of Thomas Hardy's Wessex inhabited sparsely by the people who cut the furze (gorse) that grows there. The entire action of Hardy's novel The Return of the Native takes place on Egdon Heath, and it also features in The Mayor of Casterbridge and the short story The Withered Arm (1888). The area is rife with witchcraft and superstition.

The Dynasts is an English-language closet drama in verse by Thomas Hardy. Hardy himself described this work as "an epic-drama of the war with Napoleon, in three parts, nineteen acts and one hundred and thirty scenes". Not counting the Forescene and the Afterscene, the exact total number of scenes is 131. The three parts were published in 1904, 1906 and 1908.

Emma Gifford British suffragist

Emma Lavinia Gifford was the first wife of the English novelist and poet Thomas Hardy.

Hardy Way

The Hardy Way is a waymarked long-distance footpath in southern England in the United Kingdom.

<i>Tess of the DUrbervilles</i> (2008 TV serial) 2008 British television serial

Tess of the D'Urbervilles is a 4-hour BBC television adaptation of Thomas Hardy's book of the same name. The script is by David Nicholls. It tells the story of Tess Durbeyfield, a low-born country girl whose family find they have noble connections.

Dorset, is a county in South West England on the English Channel coast. The ceremonial county comprises the area covered by the non-metropolitan county, which is governed by Dorset County Council, together with the unitary authorities of Poole and Bournemouth. Dorset is an average sized county with an area of 2,653 square kilometres (1,024 sq mi); it borders Devon to the west, Somerset to the north-west, Wiltshire to the north-east, and Hampshire to the east. Around half of Dorset's population lives in the South East Dorset conurbation. The rest of the county is largely rural with a low population density.

British regional literature

The setting is particularly important in regional literature. In literature regionalism refers to fiction or poetry that focuses on specific features, such as dialect, customs, history, and landscape, of a particular region : "Such a locale is likely to be rural and/or provincial."

<i>Wolf Solent</i> novel by John Cowper Powys published in 1929

Wolf Solent is a novel by John Cowper Powys (1872–1963) that was written in rural upper New York State and published by Simon and Schuster in May 1929 in New York City. The British edition, published by Jonathan Cape, appeared in July 1929. This, Powys's fourth novel, was his first literary success. It is a bildungsroman in which the eponymous protagonist, a thirty-four-year-old history teacher, returns to his birthplace, where he discovers the inadequacy of his dualistic philosophy. Wolf resembles John Cowper Powys in that an elemental philosophy is at the centre of his life and, because, like Powys, he hates science and modern inventions like cars and planes, and is attracted to slender, androgynous women. Wolf Solent is the first of Powys's four Wessex novels. Powys wrote both about the same region as Thomas Hardy and was a twentieth-century successor to the great nineteenth-century novelist.

Gertrude Bugler was a British stage actress of the Edwardian Era best known for acting in plays adapted by Thomas Hardy.

<i>Weymouth Sands</i> book by John Cowper Powys

Weymouth Sands was written by John Cowper Powys in rural upper New York State and published in February 1934 in New York City by Simon and Schuster. It was published in Britain as Jobber Skald in 1935 by John Lane. Weymouth Sands was the third of John Cowper Powys's so-called Wessex novels, which include Wolf Solent (1929), A Glastonbury Romance (1932), and Maiden Castle (1936). Powys was an admirer of novelist and poet Thomas Hardy, and these novels are set in Somerset and Dorset, part of Hardy's mythical Wessex. American scholar Richard Maxwell describes these four novels "as remarkably successful with the reading public of his time". The setting of this novel is the English seaside town of Weymouth, Dorset.

<i>Maiden Castle</i> (novel) book by John Cowper Powys

Maiden Castle by John Cowper Powys was first published in 1936 and is the last of Powys so-called Wessex novels, following Wolf Solent (1929), A Glastonbury Romance (1932), Weymouth Sands (1934). Powys was an admirer of Thomas Hardy, and these novels are set in Somerset and Dorset, part of Hardy's mythical Wessex. American scholar Richard Maxwell describes these four novels "as remarkably successful with the reading public of his time". Maiden Castle is set in Dorchester, Dorset Thomas Hardy's Casterbridge, and which Powys intended to be a "rival" to Hardy's Mayor of Casterbridge. Glen Cavaliero describes Dorchester as "vividly present throughout the book as a symbol of the continuity of civilization. The title alludes to the Iron Age, hill fort Maiden Castle that stands near to Dorchester.

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Biographies and criticism