Thomas Hardy

NPG 2929,Thomas Hardy,by William Strang

Thomas Hardy by William Strang 1893

Thomas Hardy by William Strang 1893

On 11th January 1928, the poet and novelist, Thomas Hardy died at the age of 87 in Dorset, England. He was cremated and his ashes interred in Poet’s Corner in Westminster Abbey but his heart had been removed and was buried in the Stinsford village churchyard of his native parish in Dorset.

Two of my favourite books by this author are Far From the Madding Crowd and the somewhat more depressing Jude the Obscure. The latter is the author’s last completed novel and was first produced in serialized form in a magazine in December 1894 but the following year was published as a book. The protagonist is a young stonemason, Jude Frawley, a working class man who dreams of becoming a scholar. What I like about Hardy’s writing is how he focuses on the class system of his day, encompassing marriage, religion and education (or the lack of it). He lamented a decline in rural life when so many people left agricultural work to seek better pay in large industrialized towns and this often features in his writing.

Another Victorian writer I’ve read since my teens is Charles Dickens, a contemporary of Thomas Hardy and I wondered if they ever met. After a bit of searching I’ve come to the conclusion they never did. However their paths crossed in London. Hardy was a young architect at the time and had not yet become a published author. He was working in the city and living in a London suburb as a newly wed. One day he went into a coffee shop and saw Charles Dickens, by then a well established writer. Standing next to him, Hardy was hoping to attract the famous author’s attention but Dickens was preoccupied questioning his bill and Hardy never got the chance to speak to him.

If you’re interested, here’s a link to more information about Thomas Hardy’s life and work; Thomas Hardy Biography

About Jean Reinhardt

Author of 'A Pocket Full of Shells' an Amazon International best seller, Jean writes young adult and historical fiction. She has been known to shed a tear over Little House on the Prairie.
This entry was posted in authors, books, History, social issues, The Good Things in Life, victorian society, writers and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Thomas Hardy

  1. JT Twissel says:

    Dickens questioning his bill sounds accurate! I discovered Trollope a few years back and enjoyed his work as well. Although technically Victorian I always think of Hardy as Gothic perhaps because of his tragic heroines (Tess, etc.).

    Liked by 2 people

  2. cindy knoke says:

    I am a big Hardy fan, and Austen and Trollope…..the list goes on.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve only read Far from the maddening crowd, and Tess of the D’urbervilles. I cried reading Tess.

    I like Dickens. I’ve read quite a few of his works, and count me in as an Austen Fan. I haven’t read Trollope! Think I’m going to remedy that!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I love Jude the Obscure and have reread it often. I would never put Hardy in the same period as Dickens! 😮

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Pistachios says:

    I’ve read a lot of Dickens, and he’s one of my favourite authors, but I’ve never been interested in Hardy’s novels – probably because I didn’t know anything about them …until now, that is. I think I’ll add some of his work to my to-read list. Any suggestion for which one would be a good introduction to his writing?

    Liked by 2 people

  6. sydspix says:

    I like both authors – grew up having to read their books in school.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. sjhigbee says:

    I love both Dickens and Hardy – Tess of the D’urbervilles and Far From the Madding Crowd are my favourite, along with several of his poems, particularly The Darkling Thrush. Thank you for sharing:)

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Jack Eason says:

    Reblogged this on Have We Had Help? and commented:
    Now then, about Thomas Hardy…

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Reblogged this on newauthoronline and commented:
    Approximately 15-16 years ago, I went on a Thomas Hardy weekend and this post reminded me of the discussions which took place, together with the long and enjoyable walks in Dorset.

    Liked by 2 people

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