Thomas Hardy, English novelist and poet, was born today in history: 02 June, 1840

Thomas Hardy between 1910 and 1915

Thomas Hardy between 1910 and 1915

Thomas Hardy, OM (2 June 1840 – 11 January 1928) was an English novelist and poet. A Victorian realist in the tradition of George Eliot, he was influenced both in his novels and in his poetry by Romanticism, especially William WordsworthCharles Dickens was another important influence. Like Dickens, he was highly critical of much in Victorian society, though Hardy focused more on a declining rural society.

While Hardy wrote poetry throughout his life and regarded himself primarily as a poet, his first collection was not published until 1898. Initially, therefore, he gained fame as the author of novels, including Far from the Madding Crowd(1874), The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886), Tess of the d’Urbervilles (1891), and Jude the Obscure (1895). However, beginning in the 1950s Hardy has been recognised as a major poet; he had a significant influence on the Movement poets of the 1950s and 1960s, including Philip Larkin.

Most of his fictional works – initially published as serials in magazines – were set in the semi-fictional region of Wessex. They explored tragic characters struggling against their passions and social circumstances. Hardy’s Wessex is based on the medieval Anglo-Saxon kingdom and eventually came to include the counties of Dorset, Wiltshire, Somerset,Devon, Hampshire and much of Berkshire, in southwest and south central England.

2 comments so far

  1. […] According to Thomas Hardy, the English novelist and poet who was born today in history, 02 June, 1840: […]

  2. […] Richard Burton reads the poem, “The Voice” by Thomas Hardy, the English novelist and poet who was born today in history, 02 June, 1840. […]


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