Archiv der Kategorie: Hardy, Thomas

Hardy, Thomas. English novelist, was born in Dorsetshire on the 2nd of June 1840. His family was one of the branches of the Dorset Hardys, formerly of influence in and near the valley of the Frome, claiming descent of John Le Hardy of Jersey (son of Clement Le Hardy, lieutenant-governor of that island in 1488), who settled in the west of England. His maternal ancestors were the Swetman, Childs or Child, and kindred families, who before and after 1635 were small landed proprietors in Melbury Osmond, Dorset, and adjoining parishes. He was educated at local schools, 1848–1854, and afterwards privately, and in 1856 was articled to Mr. John Hicks, an ecclesiastical architect of Dorchester. In 1859 he began writing verse and essays, but in 1861 was compelled to apply himself more strictly to architecture, sketching and measuring many old Dorset churches with a view to their restoration. In 1862 he went to London (which he had first visited at the age of nine) and became assistant to the late Sir Arthur Blomfield, R.A. In 1863 he won the medal of the Royal Institute of British Architects for an essay on Coloured Brick and Terra-cotta Architecture, and in the same year won the prize of the Architectural Association for design. In March 1965 his first short story was published in Chamber’s Journal, and during the next two or three years he wrote a great deal of verse, being somewhat uncertain whether to take to architecture or to literature as a profession. In 1867 he left London for Weymouth, and during that and the following year wrote a “purpose” story, which in 1869 was accepted by Messrs Chapman and Hall. The manuscript had been read by Mr. George Meredith, who asked the writer to call on him, and advised him not to print it, but to try another, with more plot. The manuscript was withdrawn and re-written, but never published. In 1870 Mr. Hardy took Mr. Meredith’s advice too literally, and constructed a novel that was all plot, which was published under the title Desperate Remedies. In 1872 appeared Under the Greenwood Tree, “a rural painting of the Dutch school,” in which Mr. Hardy had already “found himself,” and which he has never surpassed in happy and delicate perfection of art. A Pair of Blue Eyes, in which tragedy and irony come into his work together, was published in 1873. In 1874 Mr. Hardy married Emma Lavinia, daughter of the late T. Attersoll Gifford of Plymouth. His first popular success was made by Far from the Madding Crowd (1874), which, on its appearance anonymously in the Cornhill Magazine, was attributed by many to George Eliot. Then came The Hand of Ethelberta (1876), described, not inaptly, as “a comedy in chapters”; The Return of the Native (1878), the most sombre and, in some ways, the most powerful and characteristic of Mr. Hardy’s novels; The Trumpet-Major (1880); A Laodicean (1881); Two on a Tower (1882), a long excursion in constructive irony; The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886); The Woodlanders (1887); Wessex Tales (1888); A Group of Noble Dames (1891); Tess of the D’ Urbervilles (1891), Mr. Hardy’s most famous novel; Life’s Little Ironies (1894); Jude the Obscure (1895), his most thoughtful and least popular book; The Well-Beloved, a reprint, with some revision, of a story originally published in the Illustrated London News in 1892 (1897); Wessex Poems, written during the previous thirty years, with illustrations by the author; and The Dynasts (2 parts, 1904–1906). In 1909 appeared Time’s Laughing-stocks and other Verses. In all his works Mr. Hardy is concerned with one thing, seen under two aspects; not civilizations, nor manners, but the principle of life itself, invisibly realized in humanity as sex, seen visibly in the world as what we call nature. He is a fatalist, perhaps rather a determinist, and he studies the workings of fate or law (ruling through inexorable moods or humours), in the chief vivifying and disturbing influence in life, women. His view of women is more French than English; it is subtle, a little cruel, not as tolerant as it seems, thoroughly a man’s point of view, and not, as with Mr. Meredith, man’s and woman’s at once. He sees all that is irresponsible for good and evil in a woman’s character, all that is untrustworthy in her brain and will, all that is alluring in her variability. He is her apologist, but always with a reserve of private judgment. No one has created more attractive women of a certain class, women whom a man would have been more likely to love or regret loving. In his earlier books he is somewhat careful over the reputation of his heroines; gradually, he allows them more liberty, with a franker treatment of instinct and its consequence. Jude the Obscure is perhaps the most unbiased consideration in English fiction of the more complicated question of sex. There is almost no passion in his work, neither the author nor his characters ever seeming to pass beyond the state of curiosity, the most intellectually interesting of limitations, under the influence of any emotion. In his feeling for nature, curiosity sometimes seems to broaden into a more intimate communion. The heath, the village with its peasants, the change of every hour among the fields and on the roads of that English countryside which he made his own—the Dorsetshire and Wiltshire “Wessex”—mean more to him, in a sense, than even the spectacle of man and woman in their blind and painful and absorbing struggle for existence. His knowledge of woman confirms him in a suspension of judgment; his knowledge of nature brings him nearer to the unchanging and consoling element in the world. All the entertainment which he gets out of life comes to him from his contemplation of the peasant, as himself a rooted part of the earth, translating the dumbness of the fields into humour. His peasants have been compared with Shakespeare’s; he has the Shakesperean sense of their placid vegetation by the side of hurrying animal life, to which they act the part of chorus, with an unconscious wisdom in their close, narrow and undistracted view of things. The order of merit was conferred upon Mr. Hardy in July 1910.

The Trumpet-Major

The Trumpet-Major – Thomas Hardy

The reader of Mr. Hardy’s novel, „The Trumpet Major,“ will at once ask himself, „Is not this author making a brave struggle against the scepticism, the pessimism that have been assailing him? Will not the optimism of the poet and idealist finally conquer the pessimism of the realist?“ If Mr. Hardy had died after writing „The Trumpet Major“ the last question might well have been answered in the affirmative. Few more charming, spontaneous, wholesome stories than this have ever been written by an English novelist. Sweet Anne Garland may well be set by Sweet Anne Page, and her two devoted swains, fickle Bob Loveday, the sailor, and staunch John Loveday, the Trumpet Major, are worthy to live as long as the language in which their adventures are told. This is the only one of Mr. Hardy’s stories that at all claims the title—the great title in spite of some modern critics—of an historical romance. The scene is laid on the southern coast of England during the exciting days of Napoleon’s contemplated invasion. The historical setting is worthy of all praise—indeed, as we shall see later, Mr. Hardy shares with Thackeray the power to move as freely in the past as in the present. We consider „The Trumpet Major“ to be the most charming of Mr. Hardy’s stories, and if all its characters had possessed the nobility of the unselfish hero and if its action had been more tense and pitched upon a higher plane it would easily have been his greatest work. As it is, it is one of the cleanest, most interesting, most wholesome stories that can be recommended to readers old or young. Read more/Mehr lesen...

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A Pair Of Blue Eyes

A Pair Of Blue Eyes – Thomas Hardy

„A Pair of Blue Eyes,“ Mr. Hardy’s third novel, gives the heart history of a rather susceptible but very charming young lady, Miss Elfride Swancourt, who, by the way, is said to be unpopular with her own sex. It has at least one strong character, Henry Knight, the reviewer, Elfride’s second lover. It contains also one very powerful scene, the rescue of Knight from the cliff through the heroism and presence of mind of Elfride. It is not only an interesting story, but a very subtle study of feminine instincts, yet although a successful novel as a whole, it can hardly be placed among our author’s masterpieces. The last scene of all in which Elfride’s two disappointed lovers encounter her husband at her tomb, is pathetic in the extreme.

A Pair Of Blue Eyes

A Pair Of Blue Eyes

Format: Paperback.

A Pair Of Blue Eyes.

ISBN: 9783849673727.

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Plot summary of A pair of blue eyes(from Wikipedia):

The book describes the love triangle of a young woman, Elfride Swancourt, and her two suitors from very different backgrounds. Stephen Smith is a socially inferior but ambitious young man who adores her and with whom she shares a country background. Henry Knight is the respectable, established, older man who represents London society. Although the two are friends, Knight is not aware of Smith’s previous liaison with Elfride. Read more/Mehr lesen...

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The Woodlanders

The Woodlanders – Thomas Hardy

In „The Woodlanders“ we have the intimate sense of the mystery and the passion of nature; again we have the wonderful power of describing rural characters; again we have the closely knit and powerful action; we even have glimpses of the old humor. Still there is an indefinable something that separates the author of „The Woodlanders“ from the author of „Far from the Madding Crowd.“ Twelve years have made Mr. Hardy a more practised writer, they have given him a wider experience, but they have not made him any more in love with life. On the contrary, as has been indicated, they have frequently made him see little in life except a purposeless struggle in the coils of an implacable fate. And so Giles Winterbourne in „The Woodlanders“ fails in the pursuit of his love, which is his life, when Farmer Oak, in „Far from the Madding Crowd“ succeeds. Honesty, loyalty, and love meet death for their reward; while a barely decent repentance on the part of a rather repulsive personage is rewarded by the love of a heroine who though scarcely noble is worthy of a better fate. It, therefore, matters little when we view „The Woodlanders“ as a whole, whether the descriptions of the forests to be found in its pages are unexcelled in truth and beauty even by Mr. Hardy himself, or whether the scene which describes Marty South dressing the grave of Winterbourne is the finest in the whole range of our author’s novels; for the total impression produced by the book is painful because the fate that rules its characters is to Mr. Hardy, as well as to his readers, the relentless fate of alien times and peoples. And yet how powerful and original the book is, and who else among modern Englishmen could have written it! Read more/Mehr lesen...

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Under The Greenwood Tree

Under The Greenwood Tree – Thomas Hardy

„Under the Greenwood Tree“ is a year-long rural idyl. The nine chapters of the first part entitled „Winter,“ are taken up with a wonderfully humorous description of the old-fashioned wind-instrument choir of the parish of Mellstock trudging around on Christmas night to serenade every dweller in the parish, and with an equally humorous description of the party given by honest Reuben Dewey, the tranter, or wagoner. The other parts, named after the other seasons, commemorate the love of Dick Dewey, the tranter’s son for Fancy Day, the village schoolmistress—a love which ends in the most typical of rural weddings, in spite of the fact that the young rector himself is somewhat smitten with the fair schoolmistress who plays the first organ set up in the parish church. The despair of the old choir at the advent of this organ and their visit to the rector in expostulation are described with a humor that puts Mr. Hardy alongside of Dickens if not, as some think, above him. Read more/Mehr lesen...

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The Return Of The Native

The Return Of The Native – Thomas Hardy

Some regard this book as Hardy’s masterpiece. Here again we have a rural setting and a powerful and moving plot. The characters, too, are striking and well drawn, and one of them, Clym Yeobright, the hero, just misses greatness. Unlike Mr. Hardy’s previous works, it is predominantly a tragedy; but it is not a thoroughly artistic success, because our pleasure at the artist’s triumph is overbalanced by disagreeable sensations caused by the repulsiveness of many of his characters and of the environment in which they move. Mr. Hardy himself must have felt the effect of this repulsiveness, for his humor is almost entirely absent. A passion for excessive realism, too, has taken a greater hold upon this essentially poetic idealist, and it is only when he is in the presence of inanimate nature that his soul appears to be truly inspired. The descriptions of Egdon Heath in this novel, and of the effects of its sombre vastness upon its scattered inhabitants, are unequalled in modern fiction. But if nature has taken hold of Mr. Hardy as it has done of few men since Wordsworth, it has not disturbed him „with the joy of elevated thoughts,“ as Wordsworth sang; it has not proved itself to be the power „whose secret is not joy, but peace“ of Matthew Arnold; but rather it has proved itself to be the mysterious, inscrutable counterpart in the world of the senses, of that „insoluble enigma“ with which Herbert Spencer and so many modern minds have found themselves confronted in the world of thought. Read more/Mehr lesen...

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Far From The Madding Crowd

Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy

„Far from the Madding Crowd“ has its inferior only to „Tess of the D’Urbervilles.“ It combines all the charm of „Under the Greenwood Tree“ with more than the power and interest of „Desperate Remedies.“ It is the first work to prove that Mr. Hardy possesses the power of creating characters that live. Farmer Oak, the faithful, modest, sensible hero, is a character that no one can forget, a nobler, a longer lived character, perhaps, than even Adam Bede. Joseph Poorgrass, Mr. Hardy’s masterpiece in the way of peasant characters, is a personage whom Fielding would not have disdained to create—Fielding who in the creation of characters is the Zeus of English novelists. Bathsheba Everdene, the heroine—Mr. Hardy disdains to give his heroines common names thereby linking himself to the romancers—Farmer Boldwood, Sergeant Troy, the maltster, are all excellent in their way, although inferior to the two first mentioned. But with his advance in characterization, Mr. Hardy does not fall behind, nay rather, he advances in his other qualities. Never has the life of the farm and the sheepfold been more truthfully or more charmingly described; never has the homely picturesqueness of the English peasant received so attractive a setting. The humor that welled up in „Under the Greenwood Tree,“ flows here in a full stream, witness Joseph Poorgrass drunk in the public house testifying to the evils of the affliction known as “ a multiplying eye“—an affliction which had a way of always coming on when he had been in a public house a little while, as he meekly confessed to Shepherd Oak. In style, too, Mr. Hardy has improved. He has become more practised in his use of that noble instrument, the prose of his native tongue. Read more/Mehr lesen...

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Jude The Obscure

Jude The Obscure – Thomas Hardy

Like “ Tess of the D’Urbervilles,“ the story of „Jude the Obscure“ is a manifestation of the author’s later manner—a manner which is a natural and almost inevitable development in a writer who possesses Mr. Hardy’s extraordinary capacity for observation, profound knowledge of human nature, and philosophical ideas concerning the problem of existence. Mr. Hardy has never been an author to write novels merely for the purpose of providing entertainment, or for illustrating in more or less persuasive form some preconceived didactic proposition. He has been content to take men and women as they are, and no one in English fiction—possibly no one in the whole range of modern literature—has been able to surpass him in depicting the reaction of circumstances upon character. In this carefully reasoned, closely woven narrative of “ Jude the Obscure“ he sets before us the entirely natural and consistent experiences of two sensitive and impulsive creatures, who have been profoundly and disastrously affected by the changes in popular thought regarding ideals of religious faith and personal conduct; who, yielding to their thoroughly undisciplined emotions, work out for themselves a destiny full of bitterness and sorrow. It has been said that Mr. Hardy is not a writer to work on preconceived theories,but he certainly has some effective doctrines regarding the behavior of the two sexes under similar conditions, and when one comes to analyze this story one finds that a settled conviction underlies its entire texture, and this conviction is that misfortunes and disappointments, which soften the heart of man and tend to make him more considerate and charitable in his dealings with his fellows, have as a rule a contrary effect upon the heart of a woman. Read more/Mehr lesen...

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The Mayor Of Casterbridge

The Mayor Of Casterbridge – Thomas Hardy

In the setting of this story we recognize much of our author’s old power. The quiet rural town is set as distinctly before us as Cranford is. But the people to whom Mr. Hardy introduces us upon its streets are not the people Mrs. Gaskell makes us know and love. There is to our mind not a really attractive character in the whole book. The good ones have a tendency to become commonplace, the bad ones can hardly be said to be interesting. It is true that Michael Henchard, the self-made hero, is a remarkable character study from the point of view of a psychologist or a sociologist, but that does not make him a proper hero for a novel, and we are forced to conclude that even the genius of Mr. Hardy cannot long sustain its eagle flight when, to borrow a metaphor from Shelley, its wings are cramped by the constraining folds of the serpent of pessimism.

The Mayor Of Casterbridge

The Mayor Of Casterbridge

Format: Paperback.

The Mayor Of Casterbridge.

ISBN: 9783849677190

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Tess Of The D’Urbervilles

Tess Of The D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy

This book has made Mr. Hardy one of the most prominent English novelist. The power and the movement of the story are so great that it is only when we read a review of it that we are conscious that its author had any purpose save that which is common to every true writer of fiction—viz.: to tell a story which shall please. But this unconsciousness of a novelist’s purpose is the highest tribute that can be paid to his work. Tess, the milkmaid heroine, has fallen from virtue through no fault of her own. Subsequently her great passion for a second and nobler lover sweeps her into a marriage with him after she has failed to tell him of her condition, although she has attempted to do so. Her confession of her secret to her husband is one of the most powerful and painful scenes in all literature. After the weak man has deserted her, she undergoes in patience a life of unspeakable torture, but at last falls again to her former betrayer in order to keep her mother and her family from starvation. Her husband returns to her, and in her remorse she stabs her betrayer to death. After a brief period of ecstatic bliss with the now repentant man, whose desertion has brought her to such a pass, she is seized by the officers of the law and led to the scaffold…. Read more/Mehr lesen...

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The Short Stories, Volume 2

The Short Stories, Volume 2 – Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy was an English novelist and poet and a Victorian realist in the tradition of George Eliot. His novels and his short storiies were widely influenced by Romanticism. This edition, here volume two out of two, includes his best short stories as well as a detailed biographical annotation. In this book you will find stories like:

A Tradition Of Eighteen Hundred And Four
A Few Crusted Characters
Tony Kytes, The Arch-Deceiver
The History Of The Hardcomes
The Superstitious Man’s Story
Andrey Satchel And The Parson And Clerk
Old Andrey’s Experience As A Musician
Absent-Mindedness In A Parish Choir
The Winters And The Palmleys
Incident In The Life Of Mr. George Crookhill
Netty Sargent’s Copyhold
… and many more …

The Short Stories, Volume 2

The Short Stories, Volume 2

Format: Paperback.

The Short Stories, Volume 2.

ISBN: 9783849694227

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

Biography of Thomas Hardy (from Wikipedia):

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 Wordsworth. He was highly critical of much in Victorian society, especially on the declining status of rural people in Britain, such as those from his native South West England. Read more/Mehr lesen...

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