Thomas Hardy 1840—1928

Thomas Hardy


Thomas Hardy was an English novelist and poet of the naturalist movement, although he has shown elements of the previous romantic and enlightenment periods of literature, such as his fascination with the supernatural. He regarded himself primarily as a poet and composed novels mainly for financial gain. The bulk of his work, set mainly in the semi-fictional land of Wessex, delineates characters struggling against their passions and circumstances. Hardy said that he first introduced Wessex in Far from the Madding Crowd, which was his first financially successful novel, so much so that we was able to give up architectural work and pursue a literary career.

Available eBooks

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    A Laodicean (1881)

    Paula Power inherits a medieval castle from her industrialist father who has purchased it from the aristocratic De Stancy family. She employs two more »

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    A Pair of Blue Eyes (1873)

    Elfride finds herself caught in a battle between her heart, her mind and the expectations of her parents and society. The novel is notable for the more »

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    Desperate Remedies (1874)

    Described by Hardy as a tale of “mystery, entanglement, surprise and moral obliquity”, his first published novel violated the literary decorum of its more »

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    Far from the Madding Crowd (1874)

    Far from the Madding Crowd was the first of Hardy’s novels to apply the name of Wessex to the landscape of south-west England, and the first to gain more »

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    Jude the Obscure (1895)

    Often thought of as Thomas Hardy’s best work, not only for the elaborate structure of the plot, where small and subtle details lead to the character’s more »

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    Tess of the d'Urbervilles (1891)

    A pretty young girl has to leave home to make money for her family. She is clever and a good worker; but she is uneducated and does not know the cruel more »

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    The Hand of Ethelberta (1876)

    The only novel from Hardy that that provides a lighter tale, The Hand of Ethelberta, gives account of the life of a woman who lifts herself to the more »

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    The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886)

    Thomas Hardy’s almost supernatural insight into the course of wayward lives, his instinctive feeling for the beauty of the rural landscape, and his more »

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    The Trumpet-Major (1880)

    Hardy distrusted the application of nineteenth-century empiricism to history because he felt it marginalized important human elements. In The Trumpet more »

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    The Well-Beloved (1897)

    The Well-Beloved completes the cycle of Hardy’s great novels, reiterating his favourite themes of man’s eternal quest for perfection in both love and more »

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    The Woodlanders (1887)

    Love, and the erratic heart, are at the centre of Hardy’s ‘woodland story’. Set in the beautiful Blackmoor Vale, The Woodlanders concerns the fortunes more »

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    Two on a Tower (1882)

    Classified by Hardy as a romance and fantasy and now regarded as one of his minor works. The book is one of the Wessex novels, set in a parallel more »

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    Under the Greenwood Tree (1872)

    One of the most popular of Hardy’s novels, this charming pastoral idyll is a lightly humorous depiction of life in an early Victorian rural community. more »