Thomas Hardy (June 02, 1840 - January 11, 1928)
Born: 2nd June, 1840
Died: 11th January, 1928
Nationality: English
Profession/Occupation: Novelist
Region: England, Dorchester
Notable works: "Tess of the D'Urbervilles", "Jude the Obscure", "The Return of the Native", "The Woodlanders", "Far from the Madding Crowd", "The Dynasts", "The Mayor of Casterbridge", "Desperate Remedies", "The Well-Beloved", "Under the Greenwood Tree"

Thomas Hardy Facts

Biography

Thomas Hardy, (born June 2, 1840, Higher Bockhampton, Dorset, England--died January 11, 1928, Dorchester, Dorset), English novelist and poet who set much of his work in Wessex, his name for the counties of southwestern England.

Early life and works

Hardy was the eldest of the four children of Thomas Hardy, a stonemason and jobbing builder, and his wife, Jemima (nee Hand). He grew up in an isolated cottage on the edge of open heathland. Though he was often ill as a child, his early experience of rural life, with its seasonal rhythms and oral culture, was fundamental to much of his later writing. He spent a year at the village school at age eight and then moved on to schools in Dorchester, the nearby county town, where he received a good grounding in mathematics and Latin. In 1856 he was apprenticed to John Hicks, a local architect, and in 1862, shortly before his 22nd birthday, he moved to London and became a draftsman in the busy office of Arthur Blomfield, a leading ecclesiastical architect. Driven back to Dorset by ill health in 1867, he worked for Hicks again and then for the Weymouth architect G.R. Crickmay.

Though architecture brought Hardy both social and economic advancement, it was only in the mid-1860s that lack of funds and declining religious faith forced him to abandon his early ambitions of a university education and eventual ordination as an Anglican priest. His habits of intensive private study were then redirected toward the reading of poetry and the systematic development of his own poetic skills. The verses he wrote in the 1860s would emerge in revised form in later volumes (e.g., "Neutral Tones," "Retty's Phases"), but when none of them achieved immediate publication, Hardy reluctantly turned to prose.

In 1867-68 he wrote the class-conscious novel The Poor Man and the Lady, which was sympathetically considered by three London publishers but never published. George Meredith, as a publisher's reader, advised Hardy to write a more shapely and less opinionated novel. The result was the densely plotted Desperate Remedies (1871), which was influenced by the contemporary "sensation" fiction of Wilkie Collins. In his next novel, however, the brief and affectionately humorous idyll Under the Greenwood Tree (1872), Hardy found a voice much more distinctively his own. In this book he evoked, within the simplest of marriage plots, an episode of social change (the displacement of a group of church musicians) that was a direct reflection of events involving his own father shortly before Hardy's own birth.

In March 1870 Hardy had been sent to make an architectural assessment of the lonely and dilapidated Church of St. Juliot in Cornwall. There--in romantic circumstances later poignantly recalled in prose and verse--he first met the rector's vivacious sister-in-law, Emma Lavinia Gifford, who became his wife four years later. She actively encouraged and assisted him in his literary endeavours, and his next novel, A Pair of Blue Eyes (1873), drew heavily upon the circumstances of their courtship for its wild Cornish setting and its melodramatic story of a young woman (somewhat resembling Emma Gifford) and the two men, friends become rivals, who successively pursue, misunderstand, and fail her.

Hardy's break with architecture occurred in the summer of 1872, when he undertook to supply Tinsley's Magazine with the 11 monthly installments of A Pair of Blue Eyes--an initially risky commitment to a literary career that was soon validated by an invitation to contribute a serial to the far more prestigious Cornhill Magazine. The resulting novel, Far from the Madding Crowd (1874), introduced Wessex for the first time and made Hardy famous by its agricultural settings and its distinctive blend of humorous, melodramatic, pastoral, and tragic elements. The book is a vigorous portrayal of the beautiful and impulsive Bathsheba Everdene and her marital choices among Sergeant Troy, the dashing but irresponsible soldier; William Boldwood, the deeply obsessive farmer; and Gabriel Oak, her loyal and resourceful shepherd.

Middle period

Hardy and Emma Gifford were married, against the wishes of both their families, in September 1874. At first they moved rather restlessly about, living sometimes in London, sometimes in Dorset. His record as a novelist during this period was somewhat mixed. The Hand of Ethelberta (1876), an artificial social comedy turning on versions and inversions of the British class system, was poorly received and has never been widely popular. The Return of the Native (1878), on the other hand, was increasingly admired for its powerfully evoked setting of Egdon Heath, which was based on the sombre countryside Hardy had known as a child. The novel depicts the disastrous marriage between Eustacia Vye, who yearns romantically for passionate experiences beyond the hated heath, and Clym Yeobright, the returning native, who is blinded to his wife's needs by a naively idealistic zeal for the moral improvement of Egdon's impervious inhabitants. Hardy's next works were The Trumpet-Major (1880), set in the Napoleonic period, and two more novels generally considered "minor"--A Laodicean (1881) and Two on a Tower (1882). The serious illness which hampered completion of A Laodicean decided the Hardys to move to Wimborne in 1881 and to Dorchester in 1883.

It was not easy for Hardy to establish himself as a member of the professional middle class in a town where his humbler background was well known. He signaled his determination to stay by accepting an appointment as a local magistrate and by designing and building Max Gate, the house just outside Dorchester in which he lived until his death. Hardy's novel The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886) incorporates recognizable details of Dorchester's history and topography. The busy market-town of Casterbridge becomes the setting for a tragic struggle, at once economic and deeply personal, between the powerful but unstable Michael Henchard, who has risen from workman to mayor by sheer natural energy, and the more shrewdly calculating Donald Farfrae, who starts out in Casterbridge as Henchard's protege but ultimately dispossesses him of everything that he had once owned and loved. In Hardy's next novel, The Woodlanders (1887), socioeconomic issues again become central as the permutations of sexual advance and retreat are played out among the very trees from which the characters make their living, and Giles Winterborne's loss of livelihood is integrally bound up with his loss of Grace Melbury and, finally, of life itself.

Wessex Tales (1888) was the first collection of the short stories that Hardy had long been publishing in magazines. His subsequent short-story collections are A Group of Noble Dames (1891), Life's Little Ironies (1894), and A Changed Man (1913). Hardy's short novel The Well-Beloved (serialized 1892, revised for volume publication 1897) displays a hostility to marriage that was related to increasing frictions within his own marriage.

Late novels

The closing phase of Hardy's career in fiction was marked by the publication of Tess of the d'Urbervilles (1891) and Jude the Obscure (1895), which are generally considered his finest novels. Though Tess is the most richly "poetic" of Hardy's novels, and Jude the most bleakly written, both books offer deeply sympathetic representations of working-class figures: Tess Durbeyfield, the erring milkmaid, and Jude Fawley, the studious stonemason. In powerful, implicitly moralized narratives, Hardy traces these characters' initially hopeful, momentarily ecstatic, but persistently troubled journeys toward eventual deprivation and death.

Though technically belonging to the 19th century, these novels anticipate the 20th century in regard to the nature and treatment of their subject matter. Tess profoundly questions society's sexual mores by its compassionate portrayal and even advocacy of a heroine who is seduced, and perhaps raped, by the son of her employer. She has an illegitimate child, suffers rejection by the man she loves and marries, and is finally hanged for murdering her original seducer. In Jude the Obscure the class-ridden educational system of the day is challenged by the defeat of Jude's earnest aspirations to knowledge, while conventional morality is affronted by the way in which the sympathetically presented Jude and Sue change partners, live together, and have children with little regard for the institution of marriage. Both books encountered some brutally hostile reviews, and Hardy's sensitivity to such attacks partly precipitated his long-contemplated transition from fiction to poetry.

Poetry

Hardy seems always to have rated poetry above fiction, and Wessex Poems (1898), his first significant public appearance as a poet, included verse written during his years as a novelist as well as revised versions of poems dating from the 1860s. As a collection it was often perceived as miscellaneous and uneven--an impression reinforced by the author's own idiosyncratic illustrations--and acceptance of Hardy's verse was slowed, then and later, by the persistence of his reputation as a novelist. Poems of the Past and the Present (1901) contained nearly twice as many poems as its predecessor, most of them newly written. Some of the poems are explicitly or implicitly grouped by subject or theme. There are, for example, 11 "War Poems" prompted by the South African War (e.g., "Drummer Hodge," "The Souls of the Slain") and a sequence of disenchantedly "philosophical" poems (e.g., "The Mother Mourns," "The Subalterns," "To an Unborn Pauper Child"). In Time's Laughingstocks (1909), the poems are again arranged under headings, but on principles that often remain elusive. Indeed, there is no clear line of development in Hardy's poetry from immaturity to maturity; his style undergoes no significant change over time. His best poems can be found mixed together with inferior verse in any particular volume, and new poems are often juxtaposed to reworkings of poems written or drafted years before. The range of poems within any particular volume is also extremely broad--from lyric to meditation to ballad to satirical vignette to dramatic monologue or dialogue--and Hardy persistently experiments with different, often invented, stanza forms and metres.

In 1903, 1905, and 1908 Hardy successively published the three volumes of The Dynasts, a huge poetic drama that is written mostly in blank verse and subtitled "an epic-drama of the War with Napoleon"--though it was not intended for actual performance. The sequence of major historical events--Trafalgar, Austerlitz, Waterloo, and so on--is diversified by prose episodes involving ordinary soldiers and civilians and by an ongoing cosmic commentary from such personified "Intelligences" as the "Spirit of the Years" and the "Spirit of the Pities." Hardy, who once described his poems as a "series of seemings" rather than expressions of a single consistent viewpoint, found in the contrasted moral and philosophical positions of the various Intelligences a means of articulating his own intellectual ambiguities. The Dynasts as a whole served to project his central vision of a universe governed by the purposeless movements of a blind, unconscious force that he called the Immanent Will. Though subsequent criticism has tended to find its structures cumbersome and its verse inert, The Dynasts remains an impressive--and highly readable--achievement, and its publication certainly reinforced both Hardy's "national" image (he was appointed to the Order of Merit in 1910) and his enormous fame worldwide.

The sudden death of Emma Hardy in 1912 brought to an end some 20 years of domestic estrangement. It also stirred Hardy to profundities of regret and remorse and to the composition of "After a Journey," "The Voice," and the other "Poems of 1912-13," which are by general consent regarded as the peak of his poetic achievement. In 1914 Hardy married Florence Emily Dugdale, who was 38 years his junior. While his second wife sometimes found her situation difficult--as when the inclusion of "Poems of 1912-13" in the collection Satires of Circumstance (1914) publicly proclaimed her husband's continuing devotion to her predecessor--her attention to Hardy's health, comfort, and privacy made a crucial contribution to his remarkable productivity in old age. Late in his eighth decade he published a fifth volume of verse, Moments of Vision (1917), and wrote in secret an official "life" of himself for posthumous publication under the name of his widow. In his ninth decade Hardy published two more poetry collections, Late Lyrics and Earlier (1922) and Human Shows (1925), and put together the posthumously published Winter Words (1928). Following his death, on January 11, 1928, his cremated remains were interred with national pomp in Westminster Abbey, while his separated heart was buried in the churchyard of his native parish.

Legacy

The continuing popularity of Hardy's novels owes much to their richly varied yet always accessible style and their combination of romantic plots with convincingly presented characters. Equally important--particularly in terms of their suitability to film and television adaptation--is their nostalgic evocation of a vanished rural world through the creation of highly particularized regional settings. Hardy's verse has been slower to win full acceptance, but his unique status as a major 20th-century poet as well as a major 19th-century novelist is now universally recognized.

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Top 35 Thomas Hardy quotes

If Galileo had said in verse that the world moved, the inquisition might have let him alone.
Alone
Had
Him
Inquisition
Might
Moved
Said
Verse
World
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.
Any
Bar
Curious
Down
Fellow
Help
Met
Shoot
Treat
War
Where
Yes
You
You can do anything with bayonets except sit on them.
Anything
Bayonets
Except
Sit
Them
You
Give the enemy not only a road for flight, but also a means of defending it.
Also
Defending
Enemy
Flight
Give
Means
Only
Road
A woman would rather visit her own grave than the place where she has been young and beautiful after she is aged and ugly.
After
Aged
Beautiful
Been
Grave
Has-been
Her
Own
Place
Rather
She
Than
Ugly
Visit
There is a condition worse than blindness, and that is, seeing something that isn't there.
Blindness
Condition
Seeing
Something
Than
Worse
No one can read with profit that which he cannot learn to read with pleasure.
Cannot
He
Learn
No-one
Pleasure
Profit
Read
Which
A resolution to avoid an evil is seldom framed till the evil is so far advanced as to make avoidance impossible.
Advanced
Avoid
Avoidance
Evil
Far
Framed
Impossible
Make
Resolution
Seldom
Till
The sudden disappointment of a hope leaves a scar which the ultimate fulfillment of that hope never entirely removes.
Disappointment
Entirely
Fulfillment
Hope
Leaves
Never
Scar
Sudden
Ultimate
Which
The offhand decision of some commonplace mind high in office at a critical moment influences the course of events for a hundred years.
Commonplace
Course
Critical
Decision
Events
High
Hundred
Hundred years
Influences
Mind
Moment
Office
Some
Years
Some folk want their luck buttered.
Folk
Luck
Some
Want
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.
Age
Depends
Develop
Early
Enables
Job
Just
Late
Men
Old
Old age
Others
Performance
Person
The main object of religion is not to get a man into heaven, but to get heaven into him.
Get
Heaven
Him
Main
Man
Object
Religion
Of course poets have morals and manners of their own, and custom is no argument with them.
Argument
Course
Custom
Manners
Morals
Own
Poets
Them
I am the family face; flesh perishes, I live on.
Am
Face
Family
Flesh
I am
Live
It is difficult for a woman to define her feelings in language which is chiefly made by men to express theirs.
Chiefly
Define
Difficult
Express
Feelings
Her
Language
Made
Men
Which
Woman
A lover without indiscretion is no lover at all.
Lover
Without
If way to the better there be, it exacts a full look at the worst.
Better
Full
Look
Way
Worst
Time changes everything except something within us which is always surprised by change.
Always
Change
Changes
Everything
Except
Something
Surprised
Time
Time changes
Us
Which
Within
Everybody is so talented nowadays that the only people I care to honor as deserving real distinction are those who remain in obscurity.
Care
Deserving
Distinction
Everybody
Honor
I care
Nowadays
Obscurity
Only
People
Real
Remain
Talented
Those
Patience, that blending of moral courage with physical timidity.
Blending
Courage
Moral
Moral courage
Patience
Physical
Timidity
Poetry is emotion put into measure. The emotion must come by nature, but the measure can be acquired by art.
Acquired
Art
Come
Emotion
Measure
Must
Nature
Poetry
Put
Aspect are within us, and who seems most kingly is king.
Aspect
King
Most
Seems
Us
Who
Within
That man's silence is wonderful to listen to.
Listen
Man
Silence
Wonderful
Dialect words are those terrible marks of the beast to the truly genteel.
Beast
Dialect
Marks
Terrible
Those
Truly
Words
Do not do an immoral thing for moral reasons.
Immoral
Moral
Reasons
Thing
Fear is the mother of foresight.
Fear
Foresight
Mother
Like the British Constitution, she owes her success in practice to her inconsistencies in principle.
British
Constitution
Her
Like
Owes
Practice
Principle
She
Success
Cruelty is the law pervading all nature and society; and we can't get out of it if we would.
Cruelty
Get
Law
Nature
Out
Society
Would
The resolution to avoid an evil is seldom framed till the evil is so far advanced as to make avoidance impossible.
Advanced
Avoid
Avoidance
Evil
Far
Framed
Impossible
Make
Resolution
Seldom
Till
The sky was clear - remarkably clear - and the twinkling of all the stars seemed to be but throbs of one body, timed by a common pulse.
Body
Clear
Common
Pulse
Remarkably
Seemed
Sky
Stars
There are accents in the eye which are not on the tongue, and more tales come from pale lips than can enter an ear. It is both the grandeur and the pain of the remoter moods that they avoid the pathway of sound.
Accents
Avoid
Both
Come
Ear
Enter
Eye
Grandeur
Lips
Moods
More
Pain
Pale
Pathway
And yet to every bad there is a worse.
Bad
Every
Worse
My argument is that War makes rattling good history; but Peace is poor reading.
Argument
Good
History
Makes
Peace
Poor
Rattling
Reading
War
My opinion is that a poet should express the emotion of all the ages and the thought of his own.
Ages
Emotion
Express
His
Opinion
Own
Poet
Should
Thought

Thomas Hardy essays

Read more informative topics on our blog
Analysis For A SET OF Blue Eyes
In this article Hardy's 3rd book; A set of Blue Sight, has again and again been gravely pilloried for its lapses in pragmatism, categorization of rural life, and selection of narrative cosmetic. As expressed in this article, the author criticizes those scholars who rather than recognizing the book as having merit literary in itself, they have assigned its well worth as exemplory case of the Hardy's weaknesses in his early text message or as a pioneer to his later celebrated novels, like Test of the D'Urbervilles (1891) and the other one on; Jude the Obscure (1895). Scholars like Edmund Blunden..
At Castle Boterel
Like most of the poems by Thomas hardy the poem "At castle Boterel" is presented with nostalgic romanticism. The poet provides feeling of today's in a representation of days gone by events and encounters. He begins by giving the present situation he is in, at the assembly point of a street and a highway giving an perception of the status of his life. This depicts a moment that he requires to pause and think about the past just as one cannot continue with the same speed he was in when he gets to a junction. The pause of the persona in the poem is meant to operate a vehicle his thoughts back again to past by making..
Just how Michael Henchard's Character In the Mayor of Casterbridge Triggered his Unhappiness and Decline
Why Michael Henchard's Persona Led to His Misery and DemiseThe Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy is a novel about the rising and plummeting of any complex gentleman named Michael Henchard. Michael jordan Henchard will not just have 1 characteristic or just one character for that matter. His personality can be defined as thoughtful and strong-minded although also because ruthless, obstinate and frosty. Henchard's acting impulsively, aggressive attitude, childishness and selfish character made inability and unhappiness inevitable in the life. The essence of his persona..
The Role from the Heath in Hardy's Return of the Local Essay
The Role with the Heath in Hardy's Come back of the Indigenous"Nature is the most thrifty thing in the world; she never wastes anything; she goes through change, yet there is no annihilation, the importance remains - matter is usually eternal, inches philosophizes Horace Binney. Egdon Heath, in Thomas Hardy's Return with the Native, behaves as Mother nature does from this quotation - it goes through seasonal alterations, but its essential quality continues to be. The heath takes on the role of your static impact on the characters' relationships and circumstances, showing..
The Role of Female Heroes in Cociety in Jones Hardy's Performs
Talk about how Jones Hardy shows the position of woman characters insociety in at least two of his short reports.Thomas Hardy was a dominant author in addition to a poet who was born in1840 and died in 1928. During his long life, he had written about a singlethousand poetry and fifteen novels. He lived for the majority of hislife near to Dorchester. Robust obtained numerous ideas for hisstories whilst he was growing up. An example of this was that he knewof a female who had her blood turned' by a convicts corpse and he utilizedthis inside the story The Withered Arm'. The existence of nurses..
An evaluation of the Behaviour Shown inside the Man This individual Killed Simply by Tomas Hardy and in My Last Duchess by Robert Browning
A Comparison of the Perceptions Shown in The Man This individual Killed By simply Tomas Robust and in My Last Duchess by Robert BrowningThe attitudes shown in the two poems "The Man this individual Killed" simply by TomasRobust and "My Last Duchess" Robert simply by Browning are extremely different;where as Hardy provides an impressive modest, puzzled character who also feels veryguilty, Browning's Duke is known as a vain, proud man that has killed his wifein a premeditated way. These attributes are also uncoveredthrough the poet's use of stanza, structure..
Far From The Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
Far From The Madding Group by Thomas Hardy"Far from the Madding Crowd" is usually one of Hardy's most famous works of fiction asit was published serially in Hammer toe Hill Mag in 1874. This won himcommon popularity like a writer and as you see the book yourecognise that most of the chapters end leaving you in suspense. Thiswill keep the readers purchasing the next issue of the journal. This experience isplaced in a place referred to as Wessex, an imagined place which is based onDorset, as it was an area that Robust new very well. It is a novel basedaround romance, associations and..
How Education Affect Existence in Thomas Hardy's Jude the Hidden Essay
The key designs within Thomas Hardy's "Jude the Obscure" include relationship development and just how education impacts one's quality lifestyle. Within the novel, Mr. Phillotson's relationships with Jude and Sue highlight these central themes through his yearning for expertise, as well as his unconscious desire to eventually discover love. As a young son, Jude idolizes Mr Phillotson, vowing to follow him to Christminster in the pursuit of an education. This example is one of several within the story in which Sturdy draws focus on the importance of education,..
The man he killed analysis Essay
Killing one other human is usually something that many people would be hard pressed to do. Does a person's feelings towards violent actions change in the span of a warfare? In the poem, "The Person He Killed, " simply by Thomas Hardy, he displays a story of a guy who inquiries his personal actions to do harm to one more individual. Through the poem, Robust uses the techniques of tone and word decision to receive his ideas across the composition. Though the composition is a bit brief, is does have a very strong atmosphere giving off different tones.At the beginning it is very heartwarming..
Personal Goals Influencing Marriage in the Return of the Native by Jones Hardy
Personal Goals Influencing Matrimony in the Go back of the Local by Jones HardyThe moment one thinks of relationship, images of happiness, faithfulness, and unconditional love come to mind. Marriages are generally not for allowing for two lovers to accomplish personal goals, but instead for faithful companions to have the rest with their lives jointly. In The Returning of the Native, Thomas Hardy presents you with two pairs of lovers that marry to achieve personal desired goals, not because of a mutual like and a desire to get a lifelong soul mate. Hardy reveals the true reasons governing the..
The withered arm Essay
"The Withered Arm" by Thomas Hardy and "The Schoolteachers Guest" by simply Isabelle Mas alla although written a century apart both are related: they involve a child dying, close communities and both duration long periods of time. In comparison, Hardy's 19th century brief story is placed in country England while Allende models her account in South usa both of which will strengthen the credibility with the stories. Even though start in diverse manner both set out to charm the reader, Sturdy chooses to create the in great details and delivers it totally at the end, Allende..
The Life of Women in The Withered Arm and Other Wessex Tales by Jones Hardy
The Life of girls in The Withered Arm and also other Wessex Tales by Thomas HardyJones Hardy was a writer back in the 19th century. He lived in Dorsetfor some his your life. Most of his stories had been set in Dorset and otherneighbouring counties. Robust got almost all of his suggestions from his parentsand grandmother. They used to tell him stories and tales of things andevents that had when taken place. He also got his ideas coming from thingsthat he heard from the local people and issues that took place in his village.The stories he composed were geared towards magazine visitors so this individual..
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