Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy Biography

Thomas Hardy was born June 2, 1840, in the village of Upper Bockhampton, located in Southwestern England. His father was a stone mason and a violinist. His mother enjoyed reading and relating all the folk songs and legends of the region. Between his parents, Hardy gained all the interests that would appear in his novels and his own life: his love for architecture and music, his interest in the lifestyles of the country folk, and his passion for all sorts of literature.

At the age of eight, Hardy began to attend Julia Martin's school in Bockhampton. However, most of his education came from the books he found in Dorchester, the nearby town. He learned French, German, and Latin by teaching himself through these books. At sixteen, Hardy's father apprenticed his son to a local architect, John Hicks. Under Hicks' tutelage, Hardy learned much about architectural drawing and restoring old houses and churches. Hardy loved the apprenticeship because it allowed him to learn the histories of the houses and the families that lived there. Despite his work, Hardy did not forget his academics: in the evenings, Hardy would study with the Greek scholar Horace Moule.

In 1862, Hardy was sent to London to work with the architect Arthur Blomfield. During his five years in London, Hardy immersed himself in the cultural scene by visiting the museums and theaters and studying classic literature. He even began to write his own poetry. Although he did not stay in London, choosing to return to Dorchester as a church restorer, he took his newfound talent for writing to Dorchester as well.

From 1867, Hardy wrote poetry and novels, though the first part of his career was devoted to the novel. At first he published anonymously, but when people became interested in his works, he began to use his own name. Like Dickens, Hardy's novels were published in serial forms in magazines that were popular in both England and America. His first popular novel was Under the Greenwood Tree, published in 1872. The next great novel, Far from the Madding Crowd (1874) was so popular that with the profits, Hardy was able to give up architecture and marry Emma Gifford. Other popular novels followed in quick succession: The Return of the Native (1878), The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886), The Woodlanders (1887), Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1891), and Jude the Obscure (1895). In addition to these larger works, Hardy published three collections of short stories and five smaller novels, all moderately successful. However, despite the praise Hardy's fiction received, many critics also found his works to be too shocking, especially Tess of the D'Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure. The outcry against Jude was so great that Hardy decided to stop writing novels and return to his first great love, poetry.

Over the years, Hardy had divided his time between his home, Max Gate, in Dorchester and his lodgings in London. In his later years, he remained in Dorchester to focus completely on his poetry. In 1898, he saw his dream of becoming a poet realized with the publication of Wessex Poems. He then turned his attentions to an epic drama in verse, The Dynasts; it was finally completed in 1908. Before his death, he had written over 800 poems, many of them published while he was in his eighties.

By the last two decades of Hardy's life, he had achieved fame as great as Dickens' fame. In 1910, he was awarded the Order of Merit. New readers had also discovered his novels by the publication of the Wessex Editions, the definitive versions of all Hardy's early works. As a result, Max Gate became a literary shrine.

Hardy also found happiness in his personal life. His first wife, Emma, died in 1912. Although their marriage had not been happy, Hardy grieved at her sudden death. In 1914, he married Florence Dugale, and she was extremely devoted to him. After his death, Florence published Hardy's autobiography in two parts under her own name.

After a long and highly successful life, Thomas Hardy died on January 11, 1928, at the age of 87. His ashes were buried in Poets' Corner at Westminster Abbey.

Thomas Hardy Quotes

11 November 2014

And yet to every bad there is a worse.

11 November 2014

And ghosts then keep their distance; and I know some liberty.

11 November 2014

It is difficult for a woman to define her feelings in language which is chiefly made by men to express theirs.

11 November 2014

The value of old age depends upon the person who reaches it. To some men of early performance it is useless. To others, who are late to develop, it just enables them to finish the job.

11 November 2014

Of course poets have morals and manners of their own, and custom is no argument with them.

11 November 2014

It is safer to accept any chance that offers itself, and extemporize a procedure to fit it, than to get a good plan matured, and wait for a chance of using it.

11 November 2014

A resolution to avoid an evil is seldom framed till the evil is so far advanced as to make avoidance impossible.

11 November 2014

A lover without indiscretion is no lover at all. Circumspection and devotion are a contradiction in terms.

11 November 2014

Some folk want their luck buttered.

11 November 2014

Like the British Constitution, she owes her success in practice to her inconsistencies in principle.

11 November 2014

Everybody is so talented nowadays that the only people I care to honour as deserving real distinction are those who remain in obscurity.

11 November 2014

Poetry is emotion put into measure. The emotion must come by nature, but the measure can be acquired by art.

11 November 2014

My opinion is that a poet should express the emotion of all the ages and the thought of his own.

11 November 2014

That man's silence is wonderful to listen to.

11 November 2014

My argument is that War makes rattling good history; but Peace is poor reading.

11 November 2014

Once victim, always victim—that's the law!

11 November 2014

That cold accretion called the world, which, so terrible in the mass, is so unformidable, even pitiable, in its units.

11 November 2014

Patience, that blending of moral courage with physical timidity.

11 November 2014

That cold accretion called the world, which, so terrible in the mass, is so unformidable, even pitiable, in its units.

11 November 2014

Patience, that blending of moral courage with physical timidity.

11 November 2014

Ethelberta breathed a sort of exclamation, not right out, but stealthily, like a parson's damn.

11 November 2014

Ethelberta breathed a sort of exclamation, not right out, but stealthily, like a parson's damn.

11 November 2014

Dialect words—those terrible marks of the beast to the truly genteel.

The Best Poem Of Thomas Hardy

"I Said To Love"

I said to Love,
"It is not now as in old days
When men adored thee and thy ways
   All else above;
Named thee the Boy, the Bright, the One
Who spread a heaven beneath the sun,"
   I said to Love.

   I said to him,
"We now know more of thee than then;
We were but weak in judgment when,
   With hearts abrim,
We clamoured thee that thou would'st please
Inflict on us thine agonies,"
   I said to him.

   I said to Love,
"Thou art not young, thou art not fair,
No faery darts, no cherub air,
   Nor swan, nor dove
Are thine; but features pitiless,
And iron daggers of distress,"
   I said to Love.

   "Depart then, Love! . . .
- Man's race shall end, dost threaten thou?
The age to come the man of now
   Know nothing of? -
We fear not such a threat from thee;
We are too old in apathy!
Mankind shall cease.--So let it be,"
   I said to Love.

Thomas Hardy Comments

Maricel Padilla 13 June 2006

Hi Thomas...........Hello...... How are you? this is Maricel from Philippines and i would like to tell you that you are very good and great so much in your poet......i like it very much........i hope you can tell me what is your secret there how to write a poet like that you wrote....ok...heheh joke only....cus you know i dont have yet one poet that i write here, its great for you........well anyway thomas thanks again for your very nice poet........ok takecare there always and have a nice to day to you there and to all...............see you! ! ! always, Maricel

76 145 Reply
Arthur Tugman 05 November 2011

To every failure there’s Hell and all success is heavenly. - Arthur Tugman

80 130 Reply
Arthur Tugman 05 November 2011

Come hither or go yon in your quest for success or else be content to dither in failure. - Arthur Tugman Come hither or go yon in your quest for success or else be content to dither in failure. - Arthur Tugman

67 98 Reply
Corazone Aquino 22 July 2015

I like. I am going to use it to teach styles in Form three class. beautiful. I wish I could get an analysis from you before I try doing it my way.

14 25 Reply
Ed Baidya Baidya 18 December 2015

Thomas hardy was sick in mad max: fury road

14 22 Reply
Angelo''s Right Leg 12 March 2020

Where is my left leg?

3 0 Reply
SMexY SPAggEtie 30 May 2019

ThiS iS sO SaD AlEXa PLAy DEsPAcIto

6 1 Reply
AYADAUD 09 February 2019

CAN YOU READ THEVPOMES PLESSE

6 2 Reply
BIG QUAK 07 February 2019

YO WAS UP ALI d mfbndfjbnbngujd

7 2 Reply
BIG SHAQ 30 January 2019

Yo, Big Shaq, the one and only Man's not hot, never hot Skrrat, skidi-kat-kat Boom Two plus two is four, minus one that's three, quick maths Everyday man's on the block, smoke trees See your girl in the park, that girl is a uckers When the ting went quack-quack-quack, you man were ducking (you man ducked)

10 4 Reply

Thomas Hardy Popularity

Thomas Hardy Popularity

BEST POETS
Close
Error Success