Thomas Hardy was born in Dorset in 1840, the son of a stonemason and builder, and at the age of 18, he became an architect's apprentice. He lived in London for 5 years from the age of 22 however he returned to Dorset concerned for his health but also determined to write. All of his major novels are set in the southwest of England in a fictional landscape he called "Wessex", named after the medieval Anglo-Saxon kingdom. Although many of the novels' locations are real, he always gave them fictional names.
Hardy was disposed to write about suffering and tragedy. The death of his first wife Emma led him to write some of his finest love poetry. After his death, his ashes were interred in Poets's Corner at Westminster Abbey.
Atkinson, Sam, editor. The Literature book, London: Dorling Kindersley, 2016, p.193.
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'?
If it be in the dusk when, like an eyelid's soundless blink,
The dewfall-hawk comes across the shades to alight
Upon the wind-warped upland thorn, a gazer may think,
'To him this must have been a familiar sight.'
If I pass during some nocturnal blackness, mothy and warm,
When the hedgehog travels furtively over the lawn,
One may say, 'He strove that such innocent creatures should come
to no harm,
'But he could do little for them; and now he is gone.'
'The final poem of the volume 'Afterwards' was read at a memorial service for Hardy shortly after his death, and by W.H. Auden at the end of his inaugural address as Professor of Poetry at Oxford in 1956.
On our shelves:
- Thomas Hardy: selected poems selected by Tom Paulin
- Thomas Hardy: selected poems edited by Tim Armstrong
Criticism and interpretation:
- Fatalism in the works of Thomas Hardy by Albert Elliot (Kessinger Legacy reprints series)
- Hardy the novelist by David Cecil
- Hardy: a collection of critical essays edited by Albert J. Guerard from Twentieth Century Views
- Hardy: the tragic novels edited by R.P. Draper
- A Hardy companion: a guide to the works of Thomas Hardy and their background by F. B. Pinion
- A Preface to Hardy by Merryn Williams - from Preface Books
- Thomas Hardy by Trevor Johnson from Literature in Perspective
- Thomas Hardy by Peter Widdowson. 2nd edition - from Wrtiers and Their Work
- Thomas Hardy in context edited by Phillip Mallett
Criticism and interpretation of Tess of the d'Urbervilles
- Thomas Hardy: Tess of the d'Urbervilles edited by Geoffrey Harvey - from Icon Readers' Guides
- Thomas Hardy: Tess of the D'Urbervilles edited by John Paul Riquelme
Time and place of Thomas Hardy:
- Hardy country by Tom Howard
- Thomas Hardy's world: the life, work & times of the great novelist and poet by Molly Lefebure
- Thomas Hardy: the time-torn man by Claire Tomalin
On our shelves:
- Brodie's Notes - Far from the Madding Crowd - The Mayor of Casterbridge - Tess of the d'Urbervilles
- Cliffs Notes - Far from the Madding Crowd - Tess of the d'Ubervilles
- Coles Notes - Mayor of Casterbridge -
- Macmillan Master guides - Tess of the d'Ubervilles -
- MaxNotes - Tess of the d'Ubervilles
- Methuen - Far from the Madding Crowd - Tess of the d'Urbervilles -
- Monarch Notes - Far from the Madding Crowd - Tess of the d'Urbervilles
- Studies in English Literature - The Mayor Casterbridge - Tess of the d'Urbervilles
- Study-Aids - The Mayor of Casterbridge -
- Study-guide - The Mayor of Casterbridge -
- Writers and their work - Thomas Hardy -
- York Notes - The Mayor of Casterbridge - Tess of the d'Urbervilles
- York Notes Advanced - Tess of the d'Urbervilles
Online Study Notes
- SparkNotes -- Far from the Madding Crowd -- Jude the Obscure -- The Mayor of Casterbridge -- The Return of the Native -- Tess of the d'Urbervilles -
- GradeSaver - Biography of the author and links to his work
- Cliff Notes -- Far from the Madding crowd -- Jude the Obscure -- Tess of the d'Urbervilles -- The Mayor of Casterbridge -- The Return of the Native
Thomas Hardy on film:
- Webster, Roger, 2015, 'Hardy on film', in Thomas Hardy in Context edited by Phillip Mallett, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 471-481.
This book review of Thomas Hardy: half a Londoner, the influence of the city on Hardy's writing is discussed. Andrew Motion is a Homewood Professor in the Arts at John Hopkins University.
- Motion , Andrew, 2016, 'Hardy's monstrous London', Time Literary Supplement, November 18, p.4-5.
- Far from the Madding Crowd directed by Thomas Vinterberg
- eLibrary - General author/title search
- ProQuest Literature - Specific Author search including biography and literary criticism
- ProQuest Newsstand - Book Reviews, interview transcripts etc
- The Literary Works of Thomas Hardy - The Victorian Web
- Thomas Hardy - The British Library
- Thomas Hardy - Poetry Foundation
- Thomas Hardy Society
- Thomas Hardy's Wessex Country - British Heritage Travel
- Saftel, David.' On England's coast, Thomas Hardy made his world' New York Times, Travel, May 8 2015
- Thomas Hardy's Dorset inspirations - BBC News
- Where is Thomas Hardy's Wessex? - National Trust
Far from the Madding Crowd:
- James, Elizabeth. 'Writing, publishing revising Far From the Madding Crowd - The British Library