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 (née 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.
A Pure Woman
A Pure Woman "Tess of the D'Urbervilles" 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 and in book form in 1892.More info →
Return of the Native
The Return of the Native is English author Thomas Hardy's sixth published novel. It first appeared in the magazine Belgravia, a publication known for its sensationalism, and was presented in twelve monthly instalments in 1878. Because of the novel's controversial themes, Hardy had some difficulty finding a publisher.More info →
Wessex Tales is a collection of tales written by English novelist and poet Thomas Hardy, many of which are set before Hardy's birth in 1840. Through them, Thomas Hardy talks about nineteenth century marriage, grammar, class status, how men and women were viewed, medical diseases and more.More info →