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Thomas Hardy

Born 2 June 1840 (1840-06-02)
Stinsford, Dorchester, Dorset, England
Died 11 January 1928 (1928-01-12) (aged 87)
Dorchester, Dorset, England
Occupation Novelist, Poet, and Short Story writer
Literary movement Naturalism
Spouse(s) Emma Lavinia Gifford
(1874–1912)
Florence Dugdale
(1914–1928)

Thomas Hardy, OM (2 June 1840 – 11 January 1928) was an English novelist and poet of the naturalist movement, although in several poems he displays elements of the previous romantic and enlightenment periods of literature, such as his fascination with the supernatural.

While he regarded himself primarily as a poet who composed novels mainly for financial gain, during his lifetime he was much better known for his novels, such as Tess of the d'Urbervilles and Far from the Madding Crowd, which earned him a reputation as a great novelist. The bulk of his fictional works, initially published as serials in magazines, were set in the semi-fictional land of Wessex (based on the Dorchester region where he grew up) and explored tragic characters struggling against their passions and social circumstances.

Hardy's poetry, first published in his fifties, has come to be as well-regarded as his novels and has had a significant influence over modern English poetry, especially after The Movement poets of the 1950s and 1960s cited Hardy as a major figure.

Contents

Life

Thomas Hardy was born at Higher Bockhampton, a hamlet in the parish of Stinsford to the east of Dorchester in Dorset, England. His father (Thomas) worked as a stonemason and local builder. His mother Jemima was well-read and educated Thomas until he went to his first school at Bockhampton at age eight. For several years he attended a school run by a Mr Last. Here he learned Latin and demonstrated academic potential.[1] However, a family of Hardy's social position lacked the means for a university education, and his formal education ended at the age of 16 when he became apprenticed to John Hicks, a local architect. 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. Hardy never felt at home in London. He was acutely conscious of class divisions and his social inferiority. However, he was interested in social reform and was familiar with the works of John Stuart Mill. He was also introduced to the works of Charles Fourier and Auguste Comte during this period by his Dorset friend Horace Moule. Five years later, concerned about his health, he returned to Dorset and decided to dedicate himself to writing.

In 1870, while on an architectural mission to restore the parish church of St Juliot in Cornwall,[2] Hardy met and fell in love with Emma Lavinia Gifford, whom he married in 1874.[3][4] Although he later became estranged from his wife, who died in 1912, her death had a traumatic effect on him. After her death, Hardy made a trip to Cornwall to revisit places linked with their courtship, and his Poems 1912–13 reflect upon her passing. 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.[5]

Resting place of Thomas Hardy's heart at Stinsford parish church.

Hardy became ill with pleurisy in December 1927 and died in January 1928, having dictated his final poem to his wife on his deathbed. His funeral was on 16 January at Westminster Abbey, and it proved a controversial occasion because Hardy and his family and friends had wished for his body to be interred at Stinsford in the same grave as his first wife, Emma. 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.

Shortly after Hardy's death, the executors of his estate burnt his letters and notebooks. Twelve records survived, one of them containing notes and extracts of newspaper stories from the 1820s. Research into these provided insight into how Hardy kept track of them and how he used them in his later work.[6] 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 authors including D. H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf. In his autobiography Goodbye to All That, Robert Graves recalls meeting Hardy in Dorset in the early 1920s. Hardy received him and his newly married wife warmly, and was encouraging about his work.

In 1910, Hardy was awarded the Order of Merit.

Hardy's cottage at Bockhampton and Max Gate in Dorchester are owned by the National Trust.

Religious beliefs

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.[7] 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.

Hardy’s idea of fate in life gave way to his philosophical struggle with God. Although Hardy’s faith remained intact, the irony and struggles of life 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'.[8]

Hardy's religious life seems to have mixed agnosticism, deism, and spiritism. Once, when asked in correspondence by a clergyman about the question of reconciling the horrors of pain with the goodness of a loving God, 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.[9]

Nevertheless, Hardy frequently conceived of and wrote about supernatural forces that control the universe, more through indifference or caprice than any firm will. Also, Hardy showed in his writing some degree of fascination with ghosts and spirits.[9] Despite these sentiments, Hardy 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. 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[10], 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.[11]

Novels

Thomas Hardy's birthplace at Higher Bockhampton, where Under the Greenwood Tree and Far from the Madding Crowd were written

Hardy's first novel, The Poor Man and the Lady, finished by 1867, failed to find a publisher and Hardy destroyed the manuscript so only parts of the novel remain. He was encouraged to try again by his mentor and friend, Victorian poet and novelist George Meredith. Desperate Remedies (1871) and Under the Greenwood Tree (1872) were published anonymously. In 1873 A Pair of Blue Eyes, a novel drawing on Hardy's courtship of his first wife, was published under his own name. The term "cliffhanger" is considered to have originated with the serialized 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.

Hardy said that he first introduced Wessex in Far from the Madding Crowd (1874), his next novel. It 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.

The Hardys moved from London to Yeovil and then to Sturminster Newton, where he wrote The Return of the Native (1878). In 1885, they moved for a 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.

Jude the Obscure, published in 1895, met with even stronger negative outcries from the Victorian public for its frank treatment of sex, and was often referred to as "Jude the Obscene". Heavily criticised for its apparent attack on the institution of marriage through the presentation of such concepts as erotolepsy, the book 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 is reputed to have burnt his copy.[6] 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".[12]

Despite this criticism, Hardy had become a celebrity in English literature by the 1900s, with several highly successful novels behind him, yet he felt disgust at the public reception of two of his greatest works and gave up writing fiction altogether. Other novels written by Hardy include Two on a Tower a romance story set in the world of Astronomy

Literary themes

Although he wrote a great deal of poetry, most of it went unpublished until after 1898, thus Hardy is best remembered for the series of novels and short stories he wrote between 1871 and 1895. His novels are set in the imaginary world of Wessex, a large area of south and south-west England, using the name of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom that covered the area. Hardy was part of two worlds. He had a deep emotional bond with the rural way of life which he had known as a child, but he was also aware of the changes which were under way and the current social problems, from the innovations in agriculture — he captured the epoch just before the Industrial Revolution changed the English countryside — to the unfairness and hypocrisy of Victorian sexual behaviour.

Hardy critiques certain social constraints that hindered the lives of those living in the 19th century. Considered a Victorian Realist writer, Hardy examines the social constraints that are part of the Victorian status quo, suggesting these rules hinder the lives of all involved and ultimately lead to unhappiness. In Two on a Tower, Hardy seeks to take a stand against these rules and sets up a story against the backdrop of social structure by creating a story of love that crosses the boundaries of class. The reader is forced to consider disposing of the conventions set up for love. Nineteenth-century society enforces these conventions, and societal pressure ensures conformity. Swithin St Cleeve's idealism pits him against contemporary social constraints. He is a self-willed individual set up against the coercive strictures of social rules and mores.

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 (Harvey 108).

Hardy’s stories take into consideration the events of life and their effects. Fate plays a significant role as the thematic basis for many of his novels. Characters are constantly encountering crossroads, which are symbolic of a point of opportunity and transition. Far From the Madding Crowd tells a tale of lives that are constructed by chance. “Had Bathsheba not sent the valentine, had Fanny not missed her wedding, for example, the story would have taken an entirely different path.”[13] Once things have been put into motion, they will play out. Hardy's characters are in the grips of an overwhelming fate.

Hardy paints a vivid picture of rural life in the 19th century, with all its joys and suffering, as a fatalistic world full of superstition and injustice. His heroes and heroines are often alienated from society and are rarely readmitted. He tends to emphasise the impersonal and, generally, negative powers of fate over the mainly working class people he represents in his novels. Hardy exhibits in his books elemental passion, deep instinct, and the human will struggling against fatal and ill-comprehended laws, a victim also of unforeseeable change. Tess of the d'Urbervilles, for example, ends with:

Justice was done, and the President of the Immortals, in Æschylean phrase, had ended his sport with Tess. And the d'Urberville knights and dames slept on in their tombs unknowing. The two speechless gazers bent themselves down to the earth, as if in prayer, and remained thus a long time, absolutely motionless: the flag continued to wave silently. As soon as they had strength they arose, joined hands again, and went on.

In particular, Hardy's novel Jude the Obscure is full of the sense of crisis of the later Victorian period (as witnessed in Matthew Arnold's 'Dover Beach'). It describes the tragedy of two new social types, Jude Fawley, a working man who attempts to educate himself, and his lover and cousin, Sue Bridehead, who represents the 'new woman' of the 1890s.[14]

His mastery, as both an author and poet, lies in the creation of natural surroundings making discoveries through close observation and acute sensitiveness. He notices the smallest and most delicate details, yet he can also paint vast landscapes of his own Wessex in melancholy or noble moods.[15] (His eye for poignant detail — such as the spreading bloodstain on the ceiling at the end of Tess of the d'Urbervilles and little Jude's suicide note — often came from clippings from newspaper reports of real events).

Poetry

For the full text of several poems, see the External links section

In 1898 Hardy published his first volume of poetry, Wessex Poems, a collection of poems written over 30 years. Hardy claimed poetry as his first love, and published collections until his death in 1928. Although not as well received by his contemporaries as his novels, Hardy's poetry has been applauded considerably in recent years, in part because of his influence on Philip Larkin who included many of Hardy's poems in the edition of the Oxford Book of Twentieth Century English Verse that Larkin edited in 1973.

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 the elegies he wrote in her memory, calling these poems, "one of the finest and strangest celebrations of the dead in English poetry."[16]

Most of his poems deal with themes of disappointment in love and life, and mankind's long struggle against indifference to human suffering. Some, like "The Darkling Thrush" and "An August Midnight", appear as poems about writing poetry, because the nature mentioned in them gives Hardy the inspiration to write those. A vein of regret tinges his often seemingly banal themes. His compositions range in style from the three-volume epic closet drama The Dynasts to smaller, and often hopeful or even cheerful ballads of the moment such as the little-known "The Children and Sir Nameless", a comic poem inspired by the tombs of the Martyns, builders of Athelhampton. A particularly strong theme in the Wessex Poems is the long shadow that the Napoleonic Wars cast over the nineteenth century, for example, in "The Sergeant's Song" and "Leipzig", and the way those memories wind through the English landscape and its inhabitants.

A few of Hardy's poems, such as "The Blinded Bird" (a melancholy polemic against the sport of vinkenzetting), display his love of the natural world and his firm stance against animal cruelty, exhibited in his antivivisectionist views and his membership in the RSPCA.[17]

Composers who have set Hardy's text to music include Gerald Finzi, who produced six song-cycles for poems by Hardy, Benjamin Britten, who based his song-cycle Winter Words on Hardy's poetry, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Gustav Holst. Holst also based one of his last orchestral works, Egdon Heath, on Hardy's work. Composer Lee Hoiby's setting of "The Darkling Thrush" became the basis of the multimedia opera Darkling and Timothy Takach, a graduate of St. Olaf, has also put "The Darkling Thrush" into arrangement for a four-part mixed choir.

Locations in novels

Berkshire is North Wessex, Devon is Lower Wessex, Dorset is South Wessex, Somerset is Outer or Nether Wessex, Wiltshire is Mid-Wessex,

Bere Regis is King's-Bere of Tess, Bincombe Down cross roads is the scene of the military execution in A Melancholy Hussar. It is a true story, the deserters from the German Legion were shot in 1801 and are recorded in the parish register. Bindon Abbey is where Clare carried her. Bournemouth is Sandbourne of Hand of Ethelberta and Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Bridport is Port Bredy, Charborough House and its folly tower at 50°46′38.75″N 2°6′7.09″W / 50.7774306°N 2.1019694°W / 50.7774306; -2.1019694 is the model for Welland House in the novel Two on a Tower. Corfe Castle is the Corvsgate-Castle of Hand of Ethelberta. Cranborne Chase is The Chase scene of Tess's seduction. (Note — Bowerchalke on Cranborne Chase at 51°0′30.75″N 1°59′18.30″W / 51.0085417°N 1.988417°W / 51.0085417; -1.988417 was the film location for the great fire in John Schlesinger's 1967 film Far from the Madding Crowd.) Milborne St Andrew is "Millpond St Judes" in Far From the Madding Crowd. Weatherby Castle is the location for the "Tower" in "Two on a Tower" with Little England Cottage, Milborne St Andrew being the location of Swithin St Cleeves home and remains as described to this day Dorchester, Dorset is Casterbridge, the scene of Mayor of Casterbridge. Dunster Castle in Somerset is Castle De Stancy of A Laodicean. Fordington moor is Durnover moor and fields. Greenhill Fair near Bere Regis is Woodbury Hill Fair, Lulworth Cove is Lulstead Cove, Marnhull is Marlott of Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Melbury House near Evershot is Great Hintock Court in A Group of Noble Dames. Minterne is Little Hintock, Owermoigne is Nether Moynton in Wessex Tales.

Piddlehinton and Piddle Trenthide are the Longpuddle of A Few Crusted Characters. Puddletown Heath, Moreton Heath, Tincleton Heath and Bere Heath are Egdon Heath. Poole is Havenpool in Life's Little Ironies. Portland is the scene of The Pursuit of the Well-Beloved. Puddletown is Weatherbury in Far from the Madding Crowd, River Frome valley is the scene of Talbothays dairy in Tess. Salisbury is Melchester in On the Western Circuit, Life's Little Ironies and Jude the Obscure etc. Shaftesbury is Shaston in Tess of the d'Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure. Sherborne is Sherton-Abbas, Sherborne Castle is home of Lady Baxby in A Group of Noble Dames. Stonehenge is the scene of Tess's apprehension. Sutton Poyntz is Overcombe. Swanage is the Knollsea of Hand of Ethelberta. Taunton is known as Toneborough in both Hardy's novels and poems. Wantage is Alfredston, of Jude the Obscure. Fawley, Berkshire is Marygreen of Jude the Obscure. Weyhill is Weydon Priors, Weymouth is Budmouth Regis, the scene of Trumpet Major & portions of other novels; Winchester is Wintoncester where Tess was executed. Wimborne is Warborne of Two on a Tower. Wolfeton House, near Dorchester is the scene of The Lady Penelope in a Group of Noble Dames. Woolbridge old Manor House, close to Wool station, is the scene of Tess's confession and honeymoon.

Influence

Hardy provides the springboard for D. H. Lawrence's Study of Thomas Hardy (1936). Though this work became 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, suppressed) and Women in Love (1920, private publication). Hardy was clearly the starting point for the character of the novelist Edward Driffield in W Somerset Maugham's novel Cakes and Ale. Thomas Hardy's works feature prominently in the narrative in Christopher Durang's The Marriage of Bette and Boo, in which a graduate thesis analysing Tess of the d'Urbervilles is interspersed with analysis of Matt's family's neuroses.

Works

Prose

Hardy divided his novels and collected short stories into three classes:

Novels of Character and Environment

Romances and Fantasies

Novels of Ingenuity

Hardy also produced a number of minor tales and a collaborative novel, The Spectre of the Real (1894). 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 (1912–1913) and the 37-volume Mellstock Edition (1919–1920). His largely self-written biography appears under his second wife's name in two volumes from 1928–1930, as The Early Life of Thomas Hardy, 1840–1891 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)

  • "How I Built Myself A House" (1865)
  • "Destiny and a Blue Cloak" (1874)
  • "The Thieves Who Couldn't Stop Sneezing" (1877)
  • "The Duchess of Hamptonshire" (1878)
  • "The Distracted Preacher" (1879)
  • "Fellow-Townsmen" (1880)
  • "The Honourable Laura" (1881)
  • "What The Shepherd Saw" (1881)
  • "A Tradition of Eighteen Hundred and Four" (1882)
  • "The Three Strangers" (1883)
  • "The Romantic Adventures Of A Milkmaid" (1883)
  • "Interlopers At The Knap" (1884)
  • "A Mere Interlude" (1885) (republished in Penguin Great Loves series)
  • "A Tryst At An Ancient Earthwork" (1885)
  • "Alicia's Diary" (1887)
  • "The Waiting Supper" (1887-88)
  • "The Withered Arm" (1888)
  • "A Tragedy Of Two Ambitions" (1888)
  • "The First Countess of Wessex" (1889)
  • "Anna, Lady Baxby" (1890)
  • "The Lady Icenway" (1890)
  • "Lady Mottisfont" (1890)
  • "The Lady Penelope" (1890)
  • "The Marchioness of Stonehenge" (1890)
  • "Squire Petrick's Lady" (1890)
  • "Barbara Of The House Of Grebe" (1890)
  • "The Melancholy Hussar of The German Legion" (1890)
  • "Absent-Mindedness in a Parish Choir" (1891)
  • "The Winters And The Palmleys" (1891)
  • "For Conscience' Sake" (1891)
  • "Incident in Mr. Crookhill's Life"(1891)
  • "The Doctor's Legend" (1891)
  • "Andrey Satchel and the Parson and Clerk" (1891)
  • "The History of the Hardcomes" (1891)
  • "Netty Sargent's Copyhold" (1891)
  • "On The Western Circuit" (1891)
  • "A Few Crusted Characters: Introduction" (1891)
  • "The Superstitious Man's Story" (1891)
  • "Tony Kytes, the Arch-Deceiver" (1891)
  • "To Please His Wife" (1891)
  • "The Son's Veto" (1891)
  • "Old Andrey's Experience as a Musician" (1891)
  • "Our Exploits At West Poley" (1892-93)
  • "Master John Horseleigh, Knight" (1893)
  • "The Fiddler of the Reels" (1893)
  • "An Imaginative Woman" (1894)
  • "The Spectre of the Real" (1894)
  • "A Committee-Man of 'The Terror'" (1896)
  • "The Duke's Reappearance" (1896)
  • "The Grave By The Handpost" (1897)
  • "A Changed Man" (1900)
  • "Enter a Dragoon" (1900)
  • "Blue Jimmy: The Horse Stealer" (1911)
  • "Old Mrs. Chundle" (1929)
  • "The Unconquerable"(1992)

Poetry collections

  • The Photograph (1890)
  • Wessex Poems and Other Verses (1898)
  • Poems of the Past and Present (1901)
  • The Man He Killed (1902)
  • Time's Laughingstocks and Other Verses (1909)
  • The Voice (1912)
  • Satires of Circumstance (1914)
  • Moments of Vision (1917)
  • Collected Poems (1919)
  • Late Lyrics and Earlier with Many Other Verses (1922)
  • Human Shows, Far Phantasies, Songs and Trifles (1925)
  • Winter Words in Various Moods and Metres (1928)
  • The Complete Poems (Macmillan, 1976)
  • Selected Poems (Edited by Harry Thomas, Penguin, 1993)
  • Hardy: Poems (Everyman's Library Pocket Poets, 1995)
  • Thomas Hardy: Selected Poetry and Nonfictional Prose (St. Martin's Press, 1996)
  • Selected Poems (Edited by Robert Mezey, Penguin, 1998)
  • Thomas Hardy: The Complete Poems (Edited by James Gibson, Palgrave, 2001)

Drama

Notes

  1. ^ Claire Tomalin, Thomas Hardy: the Time-torn Man(Penguin, 2007) pp.30,36.
  2. ^ Gibson, James (ed.) (1975) Chosen Poems of Thomas Hardy, London: Macmillan Education; p.9.
  3. ^ Hardy, Emma (1961) Some Recollections by Emma Hardy; with some relevant poems by Thomas Hardy; ed. by Evelyn Hardy & R. Gittings. London: Oxford University Press
  4. ^ "Thomas Hardy — the Time-Torn Man" (a reading of Claire Tomalin's book of the same name), BBC Radio 4, 23 October 2006
  5. ^ "Thomas Hardy at Stourhead" BBC.co.uk, 10 March 2004 (Retrieved: 7 September 2009)
  6. ^ a b "Homeground: Dead man talking" BBC.co.uk, 20 August 2003 (Retrieved: 7 September 2009)
  7. ^ Claire Tomalin, Thomas Hardy, The Time Torn Man(Penguin, 2007), pp.46–47.
  8. ^ Wotton, George. Thomas Hardy: Towards A Materialist Criticism. Lanham,: Rowan & Littlefield, 1985, p.36.
  9. ^ a b Ellman, Richard & O'Clair, Robert (eds.) 1988. "Thomas Hardy" in The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, Norton, New York.
  10. ^ "Biography: Thomas Hardy" wps.Ablongman.com, (Retrieved: 7 September 2009)
  11. ^ Adelene Buckland: Thomas Hardy, Provincial Geology and the Material Imagination
  12. ^ Hardy, Thomas (1998). Jude the Obscure. Penguin Classics. p. 466. ISBN 0140435387. http://books.google.com/books?id=txZevBW0iX0C&printsec=frontcover&#PPA466. 
  13. ^ "Far from the Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy — Introduction" (Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Ed. Linda Pavlovski. Vol. 153. Gale Group, Inc., 2005. eNotes.com. 2006. 12 March 2008) eNotes.com (Retrieved: 7 September 2009)
  14. ^ Words Words Words, La Spiga Languages, 2003 p.482
  15. ^ A Short History of English Literature, Emile Legouis, Oxford Clarendon Press, 1934
  16. ^ Tomalin, Claire. "Thomas Hardy." New York: Penguin, 2007.
  17. ^ Herbert N. Schneidau. "Waking Giants: The Presence of the Past in Modernism". http://books.google.com/books?id=utjWx0SznGIC&pg=PA35&lpg=PA35&dq=%22the+blinded+bird%22&source=web&ots=nshey2u5qO&sig=uG_zw_NgUtlLnJqtDq9WkXY41EE. Retrieved 2008-04-16.  (Google Books)

References

  • Armstrong, Tim. "Player Piano: Poetry and Sonic Modernity" in Modernism/Modernity 14.1 (January 2007), 1–19.
  • Blunden, Edmund. Thomas Hardy. New York: St. Martin's, 1942.
  • Brennecke, Jr., Ernest. The Life of Thomas Hardy. New York: Greenberg, 1925.
  • D'Agnillo, Renzo, "Music and Metaphor in Under the Greenwood Tree, in The Thomas Hardy Journal, 9, 2 (May 1993), pp.39–50.
  • D'Agnillo, Renzo, “Between Belief and Non-Belief: Thomas Hardy’s ‘The Shadow on the Stone’”, in Thomas Hardy, Francesco Marroni and Norman Page (eds), Pescara, Edizioni Tracce, 1995, pp.197-222.
  • Deacon, Lois and Terry Coleman. Providence and Mr. Hardy. London: Hutchinson, 1966.
  • Draper, Jo. Thomas Hardy: A Life in Pictures. Wimborne, Dorset: The Dovecote Press.
  • Ellman, Richard & O'Clair, Robert (eds.) 1988. "Thomas Hardy" in The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, Norton, New York.
  • Gatrell, Simon. Hardy the Creator: A Textual Biography. Oxford: Clarendon, 1988.
  • Gibson, James. Thomas Hardy: A Literary Life. London: Macmillan, 1996.
  • Gittings, Robert. Thomas Hardy's Later Years. Boston : Little, Brown, 1978.
  • Gittings, Robert. Young Thomas Hardy. Boston : Little, Brown, 1975.
  • Gittings, Robert and Jo Manton. The Second Mrs Hardy. London: Heinemann, 1979.
  • Halliday, F. E. Thomas Hardy: His Life and Work. Bath: Adams & Dart, 1972.
  • Hands, Timothy. Thomas Hardy : Distracted Preacher? : Hardy's religious biography and its influence on his novels. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1989.
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  • Holland, Clive. Thomas Hardy O.M.: The Man, His Works and the Land of Wessex. London: Herbert Jenkins, 1933.
  • Jedrzejewski, Jan. Thomas Hardy and the Church. London: Macmillan, 1996.
  • Kay-Robinson, Denys. The First Mrs Thomas Hardy. London: Macmillan, 1979.
  • Marroni, Francesco, "The Negation of Eros in 'Barbara of the House of Grebe’ ", in "Thomas Hardy Journal", 10, 1 (February 1994) pp. 33-41
  • Marroni, Francesco and Norman Page (eds.), Thomas Hardy. Pescara: Edizioni Tracce, 1995.
  • Marroni, Francesco, La poesia di Thomas Hardy. Bari: Adriatica Editrice, 1997.
  • Marroni, Francesco, "The Poetry of Ornithology in Keats, Leopardi, and Hardy: A Dialogic Analysis", in "Thomas Hardy Journal", 14, 2 (Mayy 1998) pp. 35-44
  • Millgate, Michael (ed.). The Life and Work of Thomas Hardy by Thomas Hardy. London: Macmillan, 1984.
  • Millgate, Michael. Thomas Hardy: A Biography. New York: Random House, 1982.
  • Millgate, Michael. Thomas Hardy: A Biography Revisited. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.
  • O'Sullivan, Timothy. Thomas Hardy: An Illustrated Biography. London: Macmillan, 1975.
  • Orel, Harold. The Final Years of Thomas Hardy, 1912–1928. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1976.
  • Orel, Harold. The Unknown Thomas Hardy. New York: St. Martin's, 1987.
  • Phelps, Kenneth. The Wormwood Cup: Thomas Hardy in Cornwall. Padstow: Lodenek Press, 1975.
  • Pinion, F. B. Thomas Hardy: His Life and Friends. London: Palgrave, 1992.
  • Pite, Ralph. Thomas Hardy: The Guarded Life. London: Picador, 2006.
  • Seymour-Smith, Martin. Hardy. London: Bloomsbury, 1994.
  • Stevens-Cox, J. Thomas Hardy: Materials for a Study of his Life, Times, and Works. St. Peter Port, Guernsey: Toucan Press, 1968.
  • Stevens-Cox, J. Thomas Hardy: More Materials for a Study of his Life, Times, and Works. St. Peter Port, Guernsey: Toucan Press, 1971.
  • Stewart, J. I. M. Thomas Hardy: A Critical Biography. New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1971.
  • Turner, Paul. The Life of Thomas Hardy: A Critical Biography. Oxford: Blackwell, 1998.
  • Weber, Carl J. Hardy of Wessex, his Life and Literary Career. New York: Columbia University Press, 1940.
  • Wilson, Keith. Thomas Hardy on Stage. London: Macmillan, 1995.
  • Wilson, Keith, ed. Thomas Hardy Reappraised: Essays in Honour of Michael Millgate. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2006.
  • Wotton, George. Thomas Hardy: Towards A Materialist Criticism. Lanham: Rowan & Littlefield, 1985.
  • Letter from Hardy to Bertram Windle, transcribed by Birgit Plietzsch, from CL, vol 2, pp.131-133

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Do not do an immoral thing for moral reasons!

Thomas Hardy, OM (1840-06-021928-01-11) was an English novelist, short story writer and poet.

Contents

Sourced

  • These purblind Doomsters had as readily strown
    Blisses about my pilgrimage as pain.
    • Hap (1866), lines 13-14, from Wessex Poems (1898)
  • When I set out for Lyonnesse,
    A hundred miles away,
    The rime was on the spray,
    And starlight lit my lonesomeness.
  • To discover evil in a new friend is to most people only an additional experience
  • With all, the beautiful things of the earth become more dear as they elude pursuit; but with some natures utter elusion is the one special event which will make a passing love permanent for ever.
    • Desperate Remedies (1871), ch. 1
  • To dwellers in a wood almost every species of tree has its voice as well as its feature. At the passing of the breeze the fir-trees sob and moan no less distinctly than they rock; the holly whistles as it battles with itself; the ash hisses amid its quiverings; the beech rustles while its flat boughs rise and fall.
  • Good, but not religious-good.
    • Under the Greenwood Tree (1872), ch. 2
  • Of course poets have morals and manners of their own, and custom is no argument with them.
  • Like the British Constitution, she owes her success in practice to her inconsistencies in principle.
    • The Hand of Ethelberta (1876), ch. 9
  • A lover without indiscretion is no lover at all. Circumspection and devotion are a contradiction in terms.
    • The Hand of Ethelberta (1876), ch. 20
  • You calculated how to be uncalculating, and are natural by art!
    • The Hand of Ethelberta (1876), ch. 20
  • I have seldom known a man cunning with his brush who was not simple with his tongue; or, indeed, any skill in particular that was not allied to general stupidity.
    • The Hand of Ethelberta (1876), ch. 20
  • William Dewy, Tranter Reuben, Farmer Ledlow late at plough,
    Robert's kin, and John's, and Ned's,
    And the Squire, and Lady Susan, lie in Mellstock churchyard now!
  • They throw in Drummer Hodge, to rest
    Uncoffined — just as found:
    His landmark is a kopje-crest
    That breaks the veldt around;
    And foreign constellations west
    Each night above his mound.

    Young Hodge the Drummer never knew —
    Fresh from his Wessex home —
    The meaning of the broad Karoo,
    The Bush, the dusty loam,
    And why uprose to nightly view
    Strange stars amid the gloam.

    Yet portion of that unknown plain
    Will Hodge forever be;
    His homely Northern breast and brain
    Grow to some Southern tree,
    And strange-eyed constellations reign
    His stars eternally.

    • Drummer Hodge (1899), lines 1-18, from Poems of the Past and Present (1901)
  • Whence comes solace? Not from seeing,
    What is doing, suffering, being;
    Not from noting Life’s conditions,
    Not from heeding Time’s monitions;
    But in cleaving to the Dream
    And in gazing at the Gleam
    Whereby gray things golden seem.
  • When false things are brought low,
    And swift things have grown slow,
    Feigning like froth shall go,
    Faith be for aye.
  • I leant upon a coppice gate
    When Frost was spectre-gray,
    And Winter’s dregs made desolate
    The weakening eye of day.
  • An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
    In blast-beruffled plume,
    Had chosen thus to fling his soul
    Upon the growing gloom.

    So little cause for carolings
    Of such ecstatic sound
    Was written on terrestrial things
    Afar or nigh around,
    That I could think there trembled through
    His happy good-night air
    Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
    And I was unaware.

    • The Darkling Thrush, lines 21-32
  • The Earth, say'st thou? The Human race?
    By Me created? Sad its lot?
    Nay: I have no remembrance of such place:
    Such world I fashioned not.
    • God-Forgotten, lines 4-8, from Poems of the Past and Present (1901)
  • Here by the baring bough
    Raking up leaves,
    Often I ponder how
    Springtime deceives,—
    I, an old woman now,
    Raking up leaves.
  • Yes; quaint and curious war is!
    You shoot a fellow down
    You'd treat if met where any bar is,
    Or help to half-a-crown.
  • We two kept house, the Past and I,
    The Past and I;
    I tended while it hovered nigh,
    Leaving me never alone.
  • And as the smart ship grew
    In stature, grace, and hue,
    In shadowy silent distance grew the Iceberg too.

    Alien they seemed to be;
    No mortal eye could see
    The intimate welding of their later history,

    Or sign that they were bent
    By paths coincident
    On being anon twin halves of one august event,

    Till the Spinner of the Years
    Said "Now!" And each one hears,
    And consummation comes, and jars two hemispheres.

    • The Convergence of the Twain (Lines on the loss of the Titanic), lines 22-33
  • I seem but a dead man held on end
    To sink down soon.... O you could not know
    That such swift fleeing
    No soul foreseeing —
    Not even I — would undo me so!
    • The Going (1912), lines 38-42, from Satires of Circumstance (1914)
  • Woman much missed, how you call to me, call to me,
    Saying that now you are not as you were
    When you had changed from the one who was all to me,
    But as at first, when our day was fair.
    • The Voice (1912), lines 1-4, from Satires of Circumstance (1914)
  • What of the faith and fire within us
    Men who march away
    Ere the barn-cocks say
    Night is growing gray,
    To hazards whence no tears can win us;
    What of the faith and fire within us
    Men who march away!
  • That night your great guns, unawares,
    Shook all our coffins as we lay,
    And broke the chancel window-squares,
    We thought it was the Judgement Day.
    • Channel Firing (1914), lines 1-4, from Satires of Circumstance (1914)
  • Only a man harrowing clods
    In a slow silent walk
    With an old horse that stumbles and nods
    Half asleep as they stalk.

    Only thin smoke without flame
    From the heaps of couch-grass;
    Yet this will go onward the same
    Though Dynasties pass.

    Yonder a maid and her wight
    Come whispering by:
    War's annals will cloud into night
    Ere their story die.

  • I am the family face;
    Flesh perishes, I live on,
    Projecting trait and trace
    Through time to times anon,
    And leaping from place to place
    Over oblivion.
    • Heredity, lines 1-6, from Moments of Vision (1917)
  • Ah, no; the years, the years;
    Down their carved names the raindrop plows.
  • When the Present has latched its postern behind my tremulous stay,
    And the May month flaps its glad green leaves like wings,
    Delicate-filmed as new-spun silk, will the neighbours say,
    "He was a man who used to notice such things"?
    • Afterwards, lines 1-4, from Moments of Vision (1917)
  • This is the weather the shepherd shuns,
    And so do I.
    • Weathers, lines 10-11, from Late Lyrics and Earlier (1922)
  • And meadow rivulets overflow,
    And drops on gate bars hang in a row,
    And rooks in families homeward go,
    And so do I.
    • Weathers, lines 15-18
  • A star looks down at me,
    And says: "Here I and you
    Stand each in our degree:
    What do you mean to do,—
    Mean to do?"
    • Waiting Both, lines 1-5, from Human Shows, Far Phantasies, Songs and Trifles (1925)
  • If all hearts were open and all desires known — as they would be if people showed their souls — how many gapings, sighings, clenched fists, knotted brows, broad grins, and red eyes should we see in the market-place!
    • Diary entry (1908-08-18), quoted in Florence Emily Hardy, The Later Years of Thomas Hardy (Macmillan, 1930), ch. 10, p. 133
  • The value of old age depends upon the person who reaches it. To some men of early performance it is useless. To others, who are late to develop, it just enables them to finish the job.
    • Quoted in Florence Emily Hardy, The Later Years of Thomas Hardy (Macmillan, 1930), ch. 17, p. 212

Far from the Madding Crowd (1874)

  • Or, to state his character as it stood in the scale of public opinion, when his friends and critics were in tantrums, he was considered rather a bad man; when they were pleased, he was rather a good man; when they were neither, he was a man whose moral colour was a kind of pepper-and-salt mixture.
    • Ch. 1
  • The sovereign brilliancy of Sirius pierced the eye with a steely glitter, the star called Capella was yellow, Aldebaran and Betelgueux shone with a fiery red. To persons standing alone on a hill during a clear midnight such as this, the roll of the world eastward is almost a palpable movement.
    • Ch. 2
  • To find themselves utterly alone at night where company is desirable and expected makes some people fearful; but a case more trying by far to the nerves is to discover some mysterious companionship when intuition, sensation, memory, analogy, testimony, probability, induction — every kind of evidence in the logician's list — have united to persuade consciousness that it is quite in isolation.
    • Ch. 2
  • A nice unparticular man.
    • Ch. 8
  • It is difficult for a woman to define her feelings in language which is chiefly made by men to express theirs.
    • Ch. 51

The Return of the Native (1878)

  • Overhead the hollow stretch of whitish cloud shutting out the sky was as a tent which had the whole heath for its floor.
    • Bk. I, ch. 1
  • In fact, precisely at this transitional point of its nightly roll into darkness the great and particular glory of the Egdon waste began, and nobody could be said to understand the heath who had not been there at such a time. It could best be felt when it could not clearly be seen, its complete effect and explanation lying in this and the succeeding hours before the next dawn; then, and only then, did it tell its true tale.
    • Bk. I, ch. 1
  • The place became full of a watchful intentness now; for when other things sank blooding to sleep the heath appeared slowly to awake and listen.
    • Bk. I, ch. 1
  • It was at present a place perfectly accordant with man's nature—neither ghastly, hateful, nor ugly; neither commonplace, unmeaning, nor tame; but, like man, slighted and enduring; and withal singularly colossal and mysterious in its swarthy monotony. As with some persons who have long lived apart, solitude seemed to look out of its countenance. It had a lonely face, suggesting tragical possibilities.
    • Bk. I, ch. 1
  • The great inviolate place had an ancient permanence which the sea cannot claim. Who can say of a particular sea that it is old? Distilled by the sun, kneaded by the moon, it is renewed in a year, in a day, or in an hour. The sea changed, the fields changed, the rivers, the villages, and the people changed, yet Egdon remained.
    • Bk. I, ch. 1
  • Above the plain rose the hill, above the hill rose the barrow, and above the barrow rose the figure. Above the figure was nothing that could be mapped elsewhere than on a celestial globe.
    • Bk. I, ch. 2
  • To dwell on a heath without studying its meanings was like wedding a foreigner without learning his tongue. The subtle beauties of the heath were lost to Eustacia; she only caught its vapours. An environment which would have made a contented woman a poet, a suffering woman a devotee, a pious woman a psalmist, even a giddy woman thoughtful, made a rebellious woman saturnine.
    • Bk. I, ch. 7
  • "Ah," she said to herself, "want of an object to live for—that's all is the matter with me!"
    • Bk. II, ch. 4
  • The rural world was not ripe for him. A man should be only partially before his time—to be completely to the vanward in aspirations is fatal to fame. Had Philip's warlike son been intellectually so far ahead as to have attempted civilization without bloodshed, he would have been twice the godlike hero that he seemed, but nobody would have heard of an Alexander.
    • Bk. III, ch. 2
  • A well proportioned mind is one which shows no particular bias; one of which we may safely say that it will never cause its owner to be confined as a madman, tortured as a heretic, or crucified as a blasphemer. Also, on the other hand, that it will never cause him to be applauded as a prophet, revered as a priest, or exalted as a king. Its usual blessings are happiness and mediocrity.
    • Bk. III, ch. 2
  • The heath and changes of weather were quite blotted out from their eyes for the present. They were enclosed in a sort of luminous mist, which hid from them surroundings of any inharmonious colour, and gave to all things the character of light. When it rained they were charmed, because they could remain indoors together all day with such a show of reason; when it was fine they were charmed, because they could sit together on the hills. They were like those double stars which revolve round and round each other, and from a distance appear to be one.
    • Bk. IV, ch. 1
  • When that half-burnt log and those cinders were alight she was alive! Little has been changed here yet. I can do nothing. My life creeps like a snail.
    • Bk. V, ch. 2
  • There's reason for ghastliness. Eustacia, you have held my happiness in the hollow of your hand, and like a devil you have dashed it down!
    • Bk. V, ch. 3
  • How bewitched I was! How could there be any good in a woman that everybody spoke ill of?
    • Bk. V, ch. 3

The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886)

  • She had the hard, half-apathetic expression of one who deems anything possible at the hands of Time and Chance except, perhaps, fair play.
    • Ch. 1
  • And all her shining keys will be took from her, and her cupboards opened; and little things a' didn't wish seen, anybody will see; and her wishes and ways will all be as nothing!
    • Ch. 18
  • Who is such a reprobate as I! And yet it seems that even I be in Somebody's hand!
    • Ch. 41
  • But the ingenious machinery contrived by the Gods for reducing human possibilities of amelioration to a minimum — which arranges that wisdom to do shall come pari passu with the departure of zest for doing — stood in the way of all that.
    • Ch. 44
  • That Elizabeth-Jane Farfrae be not told of my death, or made to grieve on account of me. And that I be not bury'd in consecrated ground. And that no sexton be asked to toll the bell. And that nobody is wished to see my dead body. And that no murners walk behind me at my funeral. And that no flours be planted on my grave. And that no man remember me.
    • Ch. 45 (Henchard's will)
  • Her strong sense that neither she nor any human being deserved less than was given, did not blind her to the fact that there were others receiving less who had deserved much more. And in being forced to class herself among the fortunate she did not cease to wonder at the persistence of the unforeseen, when the one to whom such unbroken tranquility had been accorded in the adult stage was she whose youth had seemed to teach that happiness was but the occasional episode in a general drama of pain.
    • Ch. 45 (last lines)

The Woodlanders (1887)

  • All that blooth means heavy autumn work for him and his hands.
    • Ch. XIX

Tess of the d'Urbervilles (1891)

  • 'Twas a little one-eyed, blinking sort o' place.
    • Phase the First: The Maiden, ch. I
  • She had no fear of the shadows; her sole idea seemed to be to shun mankind — or rather that cold accretion called the world, which, so terrible in the mass, is so unformidable, even pitiable, in its units.
    • Phase the Second: Maiden No More, ch. XIII
  • So the baby was carried in a small deal box, under an ancient woman's shawl, to the churchyard that night, and buried by lantern-light, at the cost of a shilling and a pint of beer to the sexton, in that shabby corner of God's allotment where He lets the nettles grow, and where all unbaptized infants, notorious drunkards, suicides, and others of the conjecturally damned are laid.
    • Phase the Second: Maiden No More, ch. XIV
  • Considering his position he became wonderfully free from the chronic melancholy which is taking hold of the civilized races with the decline of belief in a beneficent Power.
    • Phase the Third: The Rally, ch. XVIII
  • Moreover she, and Clare also, stood as yet on the debatable land between predilection and love; where no profundities have been reached; no reflections have set in, awkwardly inquiring, "Whither does this new current tend to carry me? What does it mean to my future? How does it stand towards my past?"
    • Phase the Third: The Rally, ch. XX
  • Patience, that blending of moral courage with physical timidity.
    • Phase the Fifth: The Woman Pays, ch. XLIII
  • "Justice" was done, and the President of the Immortals (in Aeschylean phrase) had ended his sport with Tess. And the d'Urberville knights and dames slept on in their tombs unknowing. The two speechless gazers bent themselves down to the earth, as if in prayer, and remained thus a long time, absolutely motionless: the flag continued to wave silently. As soon as they had strength, they arose, joined hands again, and went on.
    • Phase the Seventh: Fulfilment, ch. LIX (last lines)

Jude the Obscure (1895)

  • But nobody did come, because nobody does; and under the crushing recognition of his gigantic error Jude continued to wish himself out of the world.
    • Pt. I, ch. IV
  • Their lives were ruined, he thought; ruined by the fundamental error of their matrimonial union: that of having based a permanent contract on a temporary feeling which had no necessary connection with affinities that alone render a lifelong comradeship tolerable.
    • Pt. I, ch. XI
  • Sometimes a woman's love of being loved gets the better of her conscience, and though she is agonized at the thought of treating a man cruelly, she encourages him to love her while she doesn't love him at all. Then, when she sees him suffering, her remorse sets in, and she does what she can to repair the wrong.
    • Pt. IV, ch. V
  • Done because we are too menny.
    • Pt. VI, ch. II
  • Do not do an immoral thing for moral reasons!
    • Pt. VI, ch. III

The Dynasts (1904-1908)

  • What of the Immanent Will and Its designs?
    It works unconsciously, as heretofore,
    Eternal artistries in Circumstance.
    • Pt. I, forescene, Shade of the Earth & Spirit of the Years
  • Why doth IT so and so, and ever so,
    This viewless, voiceless Turner of the Wheel?
    • Pt. I, forescene, Spirit of the Pities.
  • A local cult, called Christianity.
    • Pt. I, sc. vi, Spirit of the Years
  • Aggressive Fancy working spells
    Upon a mind o’erwrought.
    • Pt. I, sc. vi, Napoleon
  • Ere systemed suns were globed and lit
    The slaughters of the race were writ.
    • Pt. II, sc. v, Semichorus I
  • My argument is that War makes rattling good history; but Peace is poor reading.
    • Pt. II, sc. v, Spirit Sinister

Misattributed

  • The main object of religion is not to get a man into heaven, but to get heaven into him.
    • This quote can be traced to two authors, in books published within the same year:

      1) Rev. Edward John Hardy, known as E.J. Hardy (1849-1920), How to Be Happy Though Civil: A Book on Manners (New York, Scribners, 1909), ch. VI: A Christian Gentleman;
      2) John Lubbock, 1st Baron Avebury, Peace and Happiness (Macmillan, 1909), ch. XV: Religion

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

THOMAS HARDY (1840-), English novelist, was born in Dorsetshire on the 2nd of June 1840. His family was one of the branches of the Dorset Hardys, formerly of influence in and near the valley of the Frome, claiming descent from John Le Hardy of Jersey (son of Clement Le Hardy, lieutenant-governor of that island in 1488), who settled in the west of England. His maternal ancestors were the Swetman, Childs or Child, and kindred families, who before and after 1635 were small landed proprietors in Melbury Osmond, Dorset, and adjoining parishes. He was educated at local schools, 1848-1854, and afterwards privately, and in 1856 was articled to Mr John Hicks, an ecclesiastical architect of Dorchester. In 1859 he began writing verse and essays, but in 1861 was compelled to apply himself more strictly to architecture, sketching and measuring many old Dorset churches with a view to their restoration. In 1862 he went to London (which he had first visited at the age of nine) and became assistant to the late Sir Arthur Blomfield, R.A. In 1863 he won the medal of the Royal Institute of British Architects for an essay on Coloured Brick and Terra-cotta Architecture, and in the same year won the prize of the Architectural Association for design. In March 1865 his first short story was published in Chambers's Journal, and during the next two or three years he wrote a good deal of verse, being somewhat uncertain whether to take to architecture or to literature as a profession. In 1867 he left London for Weymouth, and during that and the following year wrote a "purpose" story, which in 1869 was accepted by Messrs Chapman and Hall. The manuscript had been read by Mr George Meredith, who asked the writer to call on him, and advised him not to print it, but to try another, with more plot. The manuscript was withdrawn and re-written, but never published. In 1870 Mr Hardy took Mr Meredith's advice too literally, and constructed a novel that wa g all plot, which was published in 1871 under the title Desperate Remedies. In 1872 appeared Under the Greenwood Tree, a "rural painting of the Dutch school," in which Mr Hardy had already "found himself," and which he has never surpassed in happy and delicate perfection of art. A Pair of Blue Eyes, in which tragedy and irony come into his work together, was published in 1873. In 1874 Mr Hardy married Emma Lavinia, daughter of the late T. Attersoll Gifford of Plymouth. His first popular success was made by Far from the Madding Crowd (1874), which, on its appearance anonymously in the Cornhill Magazine, was attributed by many to George Eliot. Then came The Hand of Ethelberta (1876), described, not inaptly, as "a comedy in chapters"; The Return of the Native (1878), the most sombre and, in some ways, the most powerful and characteristic of Mr Hardy's novels; The Trumpet-Major (1880); A Laodicean (1881); Two on a Tower (1882),(1882), a long excursion in constructive irony; The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886); The Woodlanders (1887); Wessex Tales (1888); A Group of Noble Dames (1891); Tess of the D' Urbervilles (1891), MrHardy's most famous novel; Life's Little Ironies (1894); Jude the Obscure (1895), his most thoughtful and least popular book; The Well-Beloved, a reprint, with some revision, of a story originally published in the Illustrated London News in 1892 (1897); Wessex Poems, written during the previous thirty years, with illustrations by the author (1898); and The Dynasts (2 parts, 1904-1906). In 1909 appeared Time's Laughing-stocks and other Verses. In all his work Mr Hardy is concerned with one thing, seen under two aspects; not civilization, nor manners, but the principle of life itself, invisibly realized in humanity as sex, seen visibly in the world as what we call nature. He is a fatalist, perhaps rather a determinist, and he studies the workings of fate or law (ruling through inexorable moods or humours), in the chief vivifying and disturbing influence in life, women. His view of women is more French than English; it is subtle, a little cruel, not as tolerant as it seems, thoroughly a man's point of view, and not, as with Mr Meredith, man's and woman's at once. He sees all that is irresponsible for good and evil in a woman's character, all that is untrustworthy in her brain and will, all that is alluring in her variability. He is her apologist, but always with a reserve of private judgment. No one has created more attractive women of a certain class, women whom a man would have been more likely to love or to regret loving. In his earlier books he is somewhat careful over the reputation of his heroines; gradually he allows them more liberty, with a franker treatment of instinct and its consequences. Jude the Obscure is perhaps the most unbiassed consideration in English fiction of the more complicated questions of sex. There is almost no passion in his work, neither the author nor his characters ever seeming able to pass beyond the state of curiosity, the most intellectually interesting of limitations, under the influence of any emotion. In his feeling for nature, curiosity sometimes seems to broaden into a more intimate communion. The heath, the village with its peasants, the change of every hour among the fields and on the roads of that English countryside which he has made his own - the Dorsetshire and Wiltshire "Wessex" - mean more to him, in a sense, than even the spectacle of man and woman in their blind and painful and absorbing struggle for existence. His knowledge of woman confirms him in a suspension of judgment; his knowledge of nature brings him nearer to the unchanging and consoling element in the world. All the entertainment which he gets out of life comes to him from his contemplation of the peasant, as himself a rooted part of the earth, translating the dumbness of the fields into humour. His peasants have been compared with Shakespeare's; he has the Shakespearean sense of their placid vegetation by the side of hurrying animal life, to which they act the part of chorus, with an unconscious wisdom in their close, narrow and undistracted view of things. The order of merit was conferred upon Mr Hardy in July 1910.

See Annie Macdonell, Thomas Hardy (London, 1894); Lionel P. Johnson, The Art of Thomas Hardy (London, 1894). (A. SY.)


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Simple English

[[File:|thumb|right|Thomas Hardy]]

Thomas Masterson Hardy (June 2, 1840January 11, 1928) was an English novelist and poet. In the United Kingdom, Hardy is generally thought to be one of the greatest figures in English literature.

Thomas Hardy was born near Dorchester in Dorset. His father was a stonemason. His mother was ambitious and had read a lot. She added to his formal education. Hardy trained as an architect in Dorchester before moving to London to get a job. He won prizes from the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Architectural Association.

Death

Hardy is buried in Westminster Abbey.








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