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Thomas Hardy
Thomas Hardy, OM 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. Charles Dickens was another important influence. Like Dickens, he was highly critical of... show more
Thomas Hardy, OM 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. Charles Dickens was another important influence. Like Dickens, he was highly critical of much in Victorian society, though Hardy focused more on a declining rural society.

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 novels, including Far from the Madding Crowd (1874), The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886), Tess of the d'Urbervilles (1891), and Jude the Obscure (1895). However, beginning in the 1950s Hardy has been recognised as a major poet; he had a significant influence on the Movement poets of the 1950s and 1960s, including Philip Larkin.

Most of his fictional works – initially published as serials in magazines – were set in the semi-fictional region of Wessex. They explored tragic characters struggling against their passions and social circumstances. Hardy's Wessex is based on the medieval Anglo-Saxon kingdom and eventually came to include the counties of Dorset, Wiltshire, Somerset, Devon, Hampshire and much of Berkshire, in southwest and south central England.
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Birth date: 1840-06-02
Died: 1928-01-11
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Community Reviews
Musings/Träumereien/Devaneios
Musings/Träumereien/Devaneios rated it 3 years ago
Another Hardy character to rival Sue Bridehead in emotional complexity is, I feel, Grace Melbury in The Woodlanders. Grace is the young country girl sent away by her vain and ambitious father to be educated and refined and when she returns we see how the natural order of a small rural community is i...
Burfobookalicious
Burfobookalicious rated it 3 years ago
I haven’t tackled Thomas Hardy since my high school syllabus, but what a treat I had been denying myself. Various maxims spring to mind from this book (‘you reap what you sow’; ‘no man is an island’; ‘what goes up…’) emerging from the chronicled life of Michael Henchard. From very humble beginnings ...
JB's Reading Life
JB's Reading Life rated it 3 years ago
More a set of sketches of rural Dorset life, than a fully plotted novel. Full of laugh-out-loud humour and beautifully observed description of landscape and village gossip.
Portable Magic
Portable Magic rated it 4 years ago
I once knew an essentially selfish man who thought of everything, even the people he loved, in terms of what they could do for him. And when he didn’t benefit, he could be angry and resentful and hurtful. He knew better, and he often regretted it and apologized and resolved to do better, but he neve...
Url Phantomhive
Url Phantomhive rated it 4 years ago
I'm not very experienced in reading poetry. I can say I like it, but always is small portions. Woman Much Missed collects poems Thomas Hardy wrote after losing his wife in 1912. Therefore, they are all dark in sadness, but beautifully so as Hardy struggles with his loss. There was a lot of symbolism...
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