Hardy, Thomas, 1840-1928

Alternative names
Birth 1840-06-02
Death 1928-01-28

Biographical notes:

English novelist.

From the description of [Letter and photographs] / Thomas Hardy. [between 1891 and 1920?] (Smith College). WorldCat record id: 231686025

English poet and novelist.

From the description of Letter, [1912 Apr. 23?], Max Gate, Dorchester [Dorsetshire, England], to [Edward] Clodd, [n.p.]. (University of Michigan). WorldCat record id: 34364250

Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) was an English author.

From the description of Tribute to Thomas Hardy, 1919. (Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens). WorldCat record id: 122570722

Epithet: OM, novelist

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000000815.0x00000c

English novelist and poet.

From the description of ALsS : Max Gate, Dorchester, to Israel Gollancz, 1915-1917. (Rosenbach Museum & Library). WorldCat record id: 122610868

From the description of Autograph correspondence card signed : Dorchester, to [Arthur Locker], 1889 Dec. 13. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 781293327

From the description of LS : Max Gate, Dorchester, to an unidentified correspondent, 1892 June 21. (Rosenbach Museum & Library). WorldCat record id: 86165800

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Dorchester, to [Arthur Locker], 1888 Feb. 21. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 781293058

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Dorchester, to [Arthur Locker], 1890 Mar. 5. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 781292809

From the description of ALS : Bockhampton, Dorchester, to Henry Holt and Company, [18]74 Feb. 2. (Rosenbach Museum & Library). WorldCat record id: 122540725

From the description of ALsS : to Mary Motley Sheridan, 1889-1915. (Rosenbach Museum & Library). WorldCat record id: 122490302

Thomas Hardy was a British writer of novels, short stories, plays (including historical dramas), poetry, and essays.

From the description of Thomas Hardy collection of papers, 1870-1964 bulk (1870-1928). (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 122607277

From the guide to the Thomas Hardy collection of papers, 1870-1964, 1870-1928, (The New York Public Library. Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature.)

Thomas Hardy, English novelist.

From the description of Poetical matter I. [microform], [1863-ca. 1923]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 83606767

From the description of Poetical matter I. [microform], [1863-ca. 1923]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702152450

English author.

From the description of The distracted preacher : corrected autograph manuscript, ca. 1879. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122585759

From the description of Letter, 1893 Sept. 10, Dorchester [England], to Henry William Jones. (Boston Athenaeum). WorldCat record id: 14994222

Thomas Hardy was an English author, highly regarded as both a nineteenth-century novelist and a twentieth-century poet. Born in Dorset and raised in humble circumstances, Hardy was educated by local schools and apprenticed to an architect. He lived for a time in London, but returned to Dorset and devoted himself to literature. He established himself as an important but controversial novelist, setting many of his works in Wessex, a fictionalized version of Berkshire. Hardy's fiction is distinguished by his realistic portrayal of rural life and his startling attention to detail. His success allowed him to turn exclusively to poetry late in life, and while recognition was slow in coming, he is now considered a major poet.

From the description of Thomas Hardy letter to Dear Sirs, 1892. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 146216816


From the description of Papers of Thomas Hardy, 1890-1911. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 71067704

Thomas Hardy was an important but controversial English novelist and poet. He apprenticed as an architect, and worked as such for several years, yet harbored literary aspirations. He began writing novels during an illness in an effort to make a living from his writing talents, and eventually wrote some of the most familiar titles in English literature. Many of his works are set in the fictional Wessex, modeled on Hardy's native Dorset. He stopped writing novels after the harsh reception of Jude the Obscure, devoting himself to poetry, and also wrote short stories and nonfiction. Although critical opinion on his literary merit varies, he became perhaps the most famous author of his day, and his popularity persists.

From the description of Thomas Hardy proofs and poems, 1916-1924. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 60525763

Thomas Hardy was born on 2 June 1840 in Higher Bockhampton, Dorset, England to stonemason Thomas Hardy and his wife Jemima. He was taught at home by his mother and at the local school in Bockhampton until he was sent to school at Dorchester in 1850, where he spent six years learning Latin and French among other subjects. Unable to pursue a scholarly or clerical career, from 1856 to 1862 he was apprenticed to a local architect who specialized in church restoration.

Hardy left for London in 1862 and spent five years working as an assistant to architect Arthur Blomfield. While in London Hardy began writing poetry, and his satirical sketch How I Built Myself a House won a prize and was published in 1865. His first attempt at a novel was not published, although the publisher Macmillan encouraged him to keep writing.

Hardy returned to Bockhampton in 1867 and resumed architectural work. In 1870, while restoring a church in St. Juliot, he met Emma Lavinia Gifford, the rector's sister-in-law, whom he married in 1874. During this period, his first novel Desperate Remedies (1871) was published anonymously, followed by Under the Greenwood Tree (1872), A Pair of Blue Eyes (1873), and his successes Far from the Madding Crowd (1874) and The Return of the Native (1878).

Hardy and Emma settled in Dorchester in 1885 at Max Gate, a large villa that Hardy designed and in which he lived for the rest of his life. His literary popularity continued with The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886), but his final two novels, Tess of the d'Urbervilles (1891) and Jude the Obscure (1895), evoked controversy. Disturbed by the public uproar, Hardy returned to writing poetry, collecting his earlier poems in Wessex Poems (1898) and publishing an epic drama in blank verse, The Dynasts, in three parts (1904-1908). Emma Hardy died suddenly in 1912 and prompted the poems that appeared in Poems 1912-13 (1913). In 1914, Hardy married his secretary, Florence Emily Dugdale.

During his long life, Hardy wrote 14 novels, more than 40 short stories, over 900 poems, two dramas, and also worked on his autobiography from 1920-1927. He became ill with pleurisy in 1927 and died at Max Gate at the age of 87 on 11 January 1928. A compromise arrangement between the family and Hardy's literary executor resulted in Hardy's remains being buried in the Poet's Corner in Westminster Abbey in London, except for his heart, which was buried alongside his first wife Emma in Dorchester.

From the guide to the Thomas Hardy Collection, 1867-1937, (The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center)


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  • Authors, English--19th century
  • Astronomical observatories--Fiction
  • Thank-you notes
  • English literature--19th century
  • Manuscripts--English
  • Authors--Autographs
  • World War, 1914-1918
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  • Authors, English--19th century--Correspondence
  • Adultery--Fiction
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  • Folk music--Scores
  • Social classes--Fiction
  • Wessex (England) in literature
  • Opera--20th century
  • Authors and publishers
  • Male authors, English
  • Periodicals


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