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Works by
Thomas Hardy
(Poet, Writer)
[June 2, 1840 – January 11, 1928]

  • Thomas Hardy: A Biography Revisited (2004) by Michael Millgate
    Michael Millgate's classic biography of Thomas Hardy, great novelist and poet, was first published in 1982. Much new information about Hardy has since become available, often in volumes edited or co-edited by Millgate himself, and many established assumptions have been challenged and revolutionized by scholarly research. In this extensively revised, fully reconsidered, and considerably-expanded new edition Millgate, the world's leading Hardy scholar, draws not only upon these new materials but upon an exceptional understanding of Hardy gained from long immersion in the study of his life and work. Many large and small aspects of Hardy's life are here freshly illuminated, including his family background, his fumbling self-education as a poet, his difficult relations with his first wife and hers with his family, his sexual infatuations, his secret collaborations with aspiring women writers, his clandestine composition of his own official biography, and the memory-invoking techniques by which he sustained his remarkable creativity into extreme old age. Thorough, authoritative and eminently readable, Thomas Hardy: A Biography Revisited will become the standard life of Hardy for a new generation.  Also known as

  • The Life and Work of Thomas Hardy (1982), Michael Millgate, ed.

  • The Early Life of Thomas Hardy, 1840-1891

  • The Later Years of Thomas Hardy, 1892-1928

  • The Life and Work of Thomas Hardy, 1840-1928 (1985, 1989)

  • 24-volume Wessex Edition (1912-1913)

  • 37-volume Mellstock Edition (1919-1920)

Character and Environment
  • Jude the Obscure (1895)
    Hardy's masterpiece traces a poor stonemason's ill-fated romance with his free-spirited cousin. No Victorian institution is spared — marriage, religion, education — and the outrage following publication led the embittered author to renounce fiction. Modern critics hail this novel as a pioneering work of feminism and socialist thought.

  • Life's Little Ironies (1894)
    94 short story collection, by the English novelist, short story writer, and poet who was awarded the Order of Merit in 1910.

  • Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1891)

  • Wessex Tales (1888)
    Short stories.

  • The Woodlanders (1887)
    Giles Winterbourne and Grace Melbury were virtually promised to one another; now her father has other plans, forcing her marriage to Edred Fitzpiers. His philandering and poverty sour their marriage, and the woodman remains sunk in dogged devotion. The events that follow are echoed in the bewitching but pitiless cycle of the seasons, as the village of Little Hintock is caught up inextricably in the natural world.

  • The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886)
    A cruel joke at a country fair goes too far when a drunken laborer auctions off his wife and child to the highest bidder. So begins The Mayor of Casterbridge.  Rich in descriptive powers and steeped in irony, this timeless tale offers a spellbinding portrayal of ambition, rivalry, revenge, and repentance.

  • The Return of the Native (1878)
    One of Thomas Hardy's most powerful works, The Return of the Native centers famously on Egdon Heath, the wild, haunted Wessex moor that D. H. Lawrence called "the real stuff of tragedy." The heath's changing face mirrors the fortunes of the farmers, inn-keepers, sons, mothers, and lovers who populate the novel. The "native" is Clym Yeobright, who comes home from a cosmopolitan life in Paris. He; his cousin Thomasin; her fiancé, Damon Wildeve; and the willful Eustacia Vye are the protagonists in a tale of doomed love, passion, alienation, and melancholy as Hardy brilliantly explores that theme so familiar throughout his fiction: the diabolical role of chance in determining the course of a life.

  • Far from the Madding Crowd (1874)
    Far from the Madding Crowd, Hardy’s passionate tale of the beautiful, headstrong farmer Bathsheba Everdene and her three suitors, firmly established the thirty-four-year-old writer as a popular novelist. According to Virginia Woolf, “The subject was right; the method was right; the poet and the countryman, the sensual man, the sombre reflective man, the man of learning, all enlisted to produce a book which . . . must hold its place among the great English novels.” Introducing the fictional name of “Wessex” to describe Hardy’s legendary countryside, this early masterpiece draws a vivid picture of rural life in southwest England.

  • Under the Greenwood Tree (1872)

  • The Poor Man and the Lady (1867, unpublished and lost)

  • A Laodicean (1881)

  • The Hand of Ethelberta (1876)
    Ethelberta Petherwin is a glamorous young widow; her passionate poetry, beauty and wealth make her the star of every salon, and her faint air of mystery merely increases her allure. But if her hand is London's most valued prize, it is because no one has yet noticed her lineage of laborers recently risen to the doubtful heights of domestic servitude. Hardy scrutinizes Ethelberta as the strain of deception takes its toll, and her precarious hold on her coveted social status begins to slip.

  • Desperate Remedies (1871)
    Hardy launched his writing career with this 1871 novel, which actually was published anonymously. Its sexuality, including lesbianism, was apparently too much of a Victorian eyebrow-raiser for him to attach his name.

Romances and Fantasies

  • The Well-Beloved (1897)
    As the last of Hardy's novels to be published, The Well-Beloved has generated great scholarly interest recently. Partly autobiographical, it tells the story of the sculptor Jocelyn Pierston, whose search for the ideal woman in both Portland and London leads him into courtships with a Portland woman, her daughter and her grand-daughter.  This novel was first published as a serial starting in 1892.

  • A Group of Noble Dames (1891)
    1891 short story collection, by the English novelist, short story writer, and poet who was awarded the Order of Merit in 1910.

  • Two on a Tower (1882)
    All night the astronomer's mind was on the stretch with curiosity as to what the Bishop could wish to say to him. A dozen conjectures entered his brain, to be abandoned in turn as unlikely. That which finally seemed the most plausible was that the Bishop, having become interested in his pursuits, and entertaining friendly recollections of his father, was going to ask if he could do anything to help him on in the profession he had chosen.

  • The Trumpet Major (1880)
    The Trumpet Major is set in Wessex during the Napoleonic Wars. Hardy skilfully immerses us in the life of the day, making us feel the impact of historical events on the immemorial local way of life - the glamour of the coming of George III and his soldiery, fears of the press-gang and invasion, and the effect of distant but momentous events like the Battle of Trafalgar. He interweaves a compelling, bitter-sweet romantic love story of the rivalry of two brothers for the hand of the heroine Anne Garland, played out against the loves of a lively gallery of other characters. While there are elements of sadness and even tragedy, The Trumpet-Major shows Hardy's skills of story-telling, characterisation and description in a novel of vitality, comedy and warmth.

  • A Pair of Blue Eyes (1873)
    'Elfride Swancourt was a girl whose emotions lay very near the surface.' Elfride is the daughter of the Rector of Endelstow, a remote sea-swept parish in Cornwall based on St Juliot, where Hardy began the book during the first days of his courtship of his first wife Emma. Blue-eyed and high-spirited, Elfride has little experience of the world beyond, and becomes entangled with two men: the boyish architect, Stephen Smith, and the older literary man, Henry Knight. The former friends become rivals, and Elfride faces an agonizing choice. Written at a crucial time in Hardy's life, A Pair of Blue Eyes expresses more directly than any of his novels the events and social forces that made him the writer he was. Elfride's dilemma mirrors the difficult decision Hardy himself had to make with this novel: to pursue the profession of architecture, where he was established, or literature, where he had yet to make his name?

  • Thomas Hardy: The Complete Poems (2002), James Gibson, ed.
    Thomas Hardy's first love was poetry. It was not until 1898, when he was 58, that his first book of poetry, Wessex Poems was published. For the final years of his life he abandoned fiction and devoted himself entirely to poetry; he is now not only regarded as one of the most important English novelists but is also a poet of major stature and increasing popularity. The Complete Poems includes Hardy's more than 900 poems, complemented by detailed notes. Collected here are his eight books of verse, all the uncollected poems, Domicilium, and the songs from The Dynasts.

  • Collected Poems of Thomas Hardy (1998)
    Thomas Hardy started composing poetry in the heyday of Tennyson and Browning. He was still writing with unimpaired power sixty years later, when Eliot and Yeats were the leading names in the field. His extraordinary stamina and a consistent individuality of style and vision made him a survivor, immune to literary fashion. At the start of the twenty-first century his reputation stands higher than it ever did, even in his own lifetime. He is now recognised not only as a great poet, but as one who is widely loved. He speaks with directness, humanity and humour to scholarly or ordinary readers alike.

  • Selected Poems (1998), Robert Mezey, ed.
    Only after Hardy's death did his poetry begin to receive the acclaim it demands. Experimenting vigorously with rhythm, stress and verse forms, Hardy colors the depths of his thematic efforts with technical vibrancy. Whether dwelling on personal grief or tender domestic dramas, his genius for rhetorical ambiguity continues to challenge critical expertise.

  • Hardy: Poems (1995)

  • Winter Words; in Various Moods and Metres (1928)
    Published after his death.

  • Human Shows, Far Phantasies, Songs, and Trifles  (1925)

  • Late Lyrics and Earlier with Many Other Verses (1922)
    A massive compilation of poems penned by Hardy is presented here. Each brilliant piece showcases the originality of his verse. The abundant range of tone and attitude and the wide spectrum of themes make this collection a sure treat for poetry lovers. A scintillating treasure trove!

  • Collected Poems (1919, part of the Mellstock Edition of his novels and poems)
    See Collected Poems of Thomas Hardy.

  • Moments of Vision (1919)
    An excellent collection that includes some of Hardy's most beautiful poems on war and patriotism. Hardys poems are a classic example of employing lyrical language and melodious phrases to the best effect. His poetry confirms his status as a poet of great stature. A mesmerizing piece of art!

  • Satires of Circumstances: Lyrics and Reveries with Miscellaneous Pieces (1914)
    At the age of 55 Hardy returned to writing poetry, a form he had previously abandoned. Satires of Circumstances is a collection of Hardy's short poems, both lyric and visionary.

  • Time's Laughingstocks: And Other Verses (1909)

  • The Dynasts
    The Dynasts is "an epic-drama of the war with Napoleon, in three parts, nineteen acts and one hundred and thirty scenes" by Thomas Hardy, whose parts were published in 1904, 1906 and 1908 respectively. The action is impossible to present on stage due to its elaborate battle-scenes and it is therefore usually counted as a closet drama. By the English novelist, short story writer, and poet who was awarded the Order of Merit in 1910.

1. The Dynasts, Part 1 (1904)
2. The Dynasts, Part 2 (1906)
3. The Dynasts. Part 3 (1908)

See also:
  • Dickens to Hardy 1837-1884: The Novel, the Past and Cultural Memory in the Nineteenth Century (2007) by Julian Wolfreys
    Dickens to Hardy, 1837-1884 charts the transitions of particular Victorian literary and cultural concerns across nearly fifty years of the Nineteenth century. With each chapter focusing on readings of particular novels, Julian Wolfreys questions how the Victorian middle classes identified themselves in their modernity and discusses how literature mediated the construction of identities through notions of cultural memory. Additionally, two chapters focus on particular genres, the gothic and the political, in the novel tradition of the Nineteenth century.

  • Thomas Hardy (2007) by Claire Tomalin
    Today Thomas Hardy is best known for creating the great Wessex landscape as the backdrop to his rural stories, starting with Far from the Madding Crowd, and making them classics. But his true legacy is that of a progressive thinker. When he published Tess of the d'Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure late in his career, Hardy explored a very different world than that of his rural tales, one in which the plight of lower classes and women take center stage while the higher classes are damned. Ironically, though, Hardy remained cloaked in the arms of this very upper class during the publication of these books, acting at all times in complete convention with the rules of society. Was he using his books to express himself in a way he felt unable to do in the company he kept, or did he know sensationalism would sell? Award-winning author Claire Tomalin expertly reconstructs the life that led Hardy to maintain conventionality and write revolution.

    Born in Dorset in 1840, Hardy came of age in rather meager circumstances. At sixteen, he left home for London and slowly worked his way through many rejections to become a published writer. Despite his mother's admonitions to never marry, he wed Emma Lavinia Gifford in 1874 and, even though he fell easily in love, stayed true to her till her death in 1912. He frequently toured London society, but few felt they knew the true Hardy, and it is this very core of self that Tomalin elegantly brings us to know so completely.

    Hardy's work consistently challenged sexual and religious conventions in a way that few other books of his time did. Though his personal modesty and kindness allowed some to underestimate him or even to pity him, they did not prevent him from taking on the central themes of human experience-time, memory, loss, love, fear, grief, anger, uncertainty, death. And it was exactly his quiet life, full of the small, personal dramas of family quarrels, rivalries, and at times, despair, that infuses his works with the rich detail that sets them apart as masterpieces. In this engrossing biography, Tomalin skillfully identifies the inner demons and the outer mores that drove Hardy and presents a rich and complex portrait of one of the greatest figures in English literature.

  • Thomas Hardy Remembered (2007) by Martin Ray

  • Thomas Hardy's Novel Universe: Astronomy, Cosmology, and Gender in the Post-Darwinian World  (2007) by Pamela Gossin

  • So You Think You Know Thomas Hardy? (2005) by John Sutherland
    How well do you really know your favourite author? Ace literary detective turned quizmaster John Sutherland challenges the reader to find out. Starting with easy, factual questions that test how well you remember a novel and its characters, the quiz progresses to a level of greater difficulty, demanding close reading and interpretative deduction. What really motivates the characters, and what is going on beneath the surface of the story? From Bathsheba's valentine to Tess's favourite cows, the subjects range across six of Hardy's most popular novels. Designed to amuse and divert, the questions and answers take the reader on an imaginative journey into the world of Thomas Hardy, where hypothesis and speculation produce fascinating and unexpected insights. Whether you are an expert or enthusiast, So You Think You Know Thomas Hardy? guarantees you will know him much better after reading it.

  • Seeing Hardy: Film and Television Adaptations of the Fiction of Thomas Hardy (2003) by Paul J. Niemeyer
    This book is the first book-length study in what has become a growing field of interest in film adaptations of Hardy's novels. Part One of this book analyzes the popular image of Hardy and his work, the reproduction of this image in film adaptations, and critical stereotypes about him and his fiction. Part Two juxtaposes Hardy's Far from the Madding Crowd and Schlesinger's adaptation, Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles and Polanski's adaptation, and Hardy's Jude the Obscure and Winterbottom's adaptation. Each discussion of the novel and adaptation in question considers the novel itself, the critical history of the novel, how it has been adapted to film, and how the individual filmmakers have struggled with problems inherent in Hardy's novels. Part Three analyzes adaptations of The Woodlanders, The Scarlet Tunic, and The Claim, all of which have scarcely been seen in the United States or which were not distributed in the United States, and four television movies and miniseries that were based on Hardy's work.

  • Thomas Hardy A to Z: The Essential Reference to His Life and Work (2002) by Sarah Bird Wright

  • Thomas Hardy: His Life and Work (2001) by F. E. Halliday
    Hardy's belief that 'The ultimate aim of the poet should be to touch our hearts by showing his own,' is endorsed in his own works - whether poetry or prose, his compassion is what lends it greatness. The full appreciation of his work depends on an understanding of his life: they are so inextricably intertwined that they must be treated together.

    With the refined estimation of an expert, Halliday gives us a remarkable introduction to Hardy's anguished soul and brilliant work.

  • Thomas Hardy: The Novels (2001) by Norman Page
    This book provides models for close analysis of Hardy, with particular focus on Far from the Madding Crowd, The Mayor of Casterbridge, Tess of the d'Urbervilles, and Jude the Obscure. Part one focuses on major themes and key passages, while part two includes background information on Hardy's life and career, a guide to leading critics, and to further reading.

  • The Cambridge Companion to Thomas Hardy (1999) by Dale Kramer
    The Cambridge Companion to Thomas Hardy is an essential introduction to this most enigmatic of writers. These newly commissioned essays from an international team of contributors comprise a general overview of all of Thomas Hardy's work and specific demonstrations of his ideas and literary skills. Individual essays explore Hardy's biography, aesthetics, his famous attachment to Wessex, and the impact on his work of developments in science, religion and philosophy in the late-nineteenth century. The volume also contains a detailed chronology of Hardy's life, and a guide to further reading.

  • Thomas Hardy's World: The Life, Times and Works of the Great Novelist and Poet (1997) by Molly Lefebure

  • Cancelled Words: Rediscovering Thomas Hardy (1992) by Rosemari Morgan
    The manuscript of Hardy's first great novel, Far From the Madding Crowd, vanished shortly after its first publication. Rediscovered in 1918 and sold into private hands, it was eventually bequeathed to the Beinecke Rare Books Library at Yale University and studied here in depth, for the first time, by Rosemarie Morgan. This lost manuscript sheds remarkable new light not only on this novel but on the whole of Hardy's work.

    The manuscript pages, facsimiles of which are reproduced here, reveal Hardy's original composition in the novel and the reluctantly "cancelled words" which were the result of a long struggle with Sir Leslie Stephen, Hardy's editor. The book was originally commissioned as a rural piece, yet Hardy had other ideas, and author and editor battled over the novel's development. Professor Morgan reveals that Hardy's chief concerns--the development of artistic balance, the role and position of women, his critical view of class distinction--are all articulated much more clearly in the first version than in the printed text. She demonstrates that these pages, with words scored through, sentences overwritten and paragraphs revised, show his progressive development as a twentieth-century "modernist" in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. He was 1"father" of the modern novel's valorization of the "low-life" hero and heroine.

    Cancelled Words reveals a manner in which Hardy worked: his resistance to censorship, his scrupulous attention to detail and precision, and the often concealed processes underlying his authorship. Ultimately, it serves to shape our understanding of the development of the modern novel.

  • Thomas Hardy (1989, 2003) by Patricia Ingham

  • Thomas Hardy and Women: Sexual Ideology and Narrative Form (1982) by Penny Boumelha

  • Illustration and the Novels of Thomas Hardy (1981) by Arlene M. Jackson

  • Thomas Hardy: Distance and Desire (1970) by J. Hillis Miller

  • Sound and Form in Modern Poetry: A Study of Prosody from Thomas Hardy to Robert Lowell (1964) by Harvey Gross


  • Search for  "Monographs on the Life, Times and Works of Thomas Hardy"

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