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About Thomas Hardy
Thomas Hardy was born in a cottage in Higher Bockhampton, near Dorchester, on 2 June 1840. He was educated locally and at sixteen was articled to a Dorchester architect, John Hicks. In 1862 he moved to London and found employment with another architect, Arthur Blomfield. He now began to write poetry and published an essay. By 1867 he had returned to Dorset to work as Hicks's assistant and began his first (unpublished) novel, The Poor Man and the Lady.
On an architectural visit to St Juliot in Cornwall in 1870 he met his first wife, Emma Gifford. Before their marriage in 1874 he had published four novels and was earning his living as a writer. More novels followed and in 1878 the Hardys moved from Dorset to the London literary scene. But in 1885, after building his house at Max Gate near Dorchester, Hardy again returned to Dorset. He then produced most of his major novels: The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886), The Woodlanders (1887), Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1891), The Pursuit of the Well-Beloved (1892) and Jude the Obscure (1895). Amidst the controversy caused by Jude the Obscure, he turned to the poetry he had been writing all his life. In the next thirty years he published over nine hundred poems and his epic drama in verse, The Dynasts.
After a long and bitter estrangement, Emma Hardy died at Max Gate in 1912. Paradoxically, the event triggered some of Hardy's finest love poetry. In 1914, however, he married Florence Dugdale, a close friend for several years. In 1910 he had been awarded the Order of Merit and was recognized, even revered, as the major literary figure of the time. He died on 11 January 1928. His ashes were buried in Westminster Abbey and his heart at Stinsford in Dorset.
Photo by Bain News Service, publisher [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
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From the author of The Mayor of Casterbridge, this novel follows a woman torn between a wealthy, unfaithful husband and the humble woodsman she truly loves.
As a young woman in a small village, Grace Melbury expects to one day marry her sweetheart, Giles. But her ambitious father has decided that her upbringing would be wasted on such a man, and pressures her to wed the doctor Fitzpiers instead.It soon becomes clear that Fitzpiers has little more to offer Grace than social status. His dalliances with other women lead to the couple’s gradual estrangement, and even Grace’s father recognizes him as a scoundrel. But Grace’s dream of reuniting with her childhood beau may be doomed to failure in this heartrending story of true love denied.
Far from the Madding Crowd is Thomas Hardy's fourth novel and his first major literary success. It originally appeared anonymously as a monthly serial in Cornhill Magazine, where it gained a wide readership.
It deals in themes of love, honour and betrayal, against a backdrop of the seemingly idyllic, but often harsh, realities of a farming community in Victorian England. It describes the life and relationships of Bathsheba Everdene with her lonely neighbour William Boldwood, the faithful shepherd Gabriel Oak, and the thriftless soldier Sergeant Troy.
In 2007, the novel was ranked 10th on The Guardian's list of greatest love stories of all time.
- Desperate Remedies
- Under the Greenwood Tree
- A Pair of Blue Eyes
- Far From the Madding Crowd
- The Hand of Ethelberta
- The Return of the Native
- The Trumpet-Major
- A Laodicean
- Two on a Tower
- The Romantic Adventures of a Milkmaid
- The Mayor of Casterbridge
- The Woodlanders
- Tess of the D’Urbervilles
- Jude the Obscure
- The Well–Beloved
Like the greatest characters in literature, Tess lives beyond the final pages of the book as a permanent citizen of the imagination. —Irving Howe
What a commonplace genius he has; or a genius for the commonplace — I don’t know which. —D. H. Lawrence
The greatest tragic writer among English novelists. —Virginia Woolf
A singular beauty and charm. —Henry James
* illustrated with countless images relating to Hardy and his works
* annotated with concise introductions to the novels and other texts
* each novel has its own contents table - easily navigate between chapters!
* information on the lost first novel 'THE POOR MAN AND THE LADY', with a rare novella and poem tracing its content
* ALL of the short stories with BOTH chronological and alphabetical contents tables
* the compete plays – even including the rare “Tragedy of the Queen of Cornwall” available nowhere else as a digital book
* ALL of the poems with their own separate chronological and alphabetical contents tables – find that special poem easily and quickly!
* the poems are ALSO presented in their original collections, each with its own table
* scholarly ordering of texts into chronological order and literary genres
* special Hardy’s Wessex Map to accompany your reading of the novels
* includes a special criticism section, with 6 different texts from other authors and critics, examining Hardy's literary work in detail
* D. H. Lawrence's lengthy critical book A STUDY OF THOMAS HARDY
* Hardy's wife's TWO biographies - explore the great writer's life in detail - available nowhere else
* UPDATED with newly formatted texts, introductions, corrections and many more images
THE POOR MAN AND THE LADY
AN INDISCRETION IN THE LIFE OF AN HEIRESS
UNDER THE GREENWOOD TREE
A PAIR OF BLUE EYES
FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD
THE HAND OF ETHELBERTA
THE RETURN OF THE NATIVE
TWO ON A TOWER
THE MAYOR OF CASTERBRIDGE
TESS OF THE D’URBERVILLES
JUDE THE OBSCURE
The Short Story Collections
LIFE’S LITTLE IRONIES
A GROUP OF NOBLE DAMES
The Short Stories
CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF HARDY’S SHORT STORIES
ALPHABETICAL LIST OF HARDY’S SHORT STORIES
The Verse Dramas
TRAGEDY OF THE QUEEN OF CORNWALL
The Poetry Collections
WESSEX POEMS AND OTHER VERSES
POEMS OF THE PAST AND THE PRESENT
TIME’S LAUGHINGSTOCKS AND OTHER VERSES
SATIRES OF CIRCUMSTANCE
MOMENTS OF VISION AND MISCELLANEOUS VERSES
LATE LYRICS AND EARLIER WITH MANY OTHER VERSES
HUMAN SHOWS FAR PHANTASIES SONGS, AND TRIFLES
WINTER WORDS IN VARIOUS MOODS AND METRES
LIST OF POEMS IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER
LIST OF POEMS IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER
This book contains now several HTML tables of contents that will make reading a real pleasure!
Desperate Remedies 
Under the Greenwood Tree 
A Pair of Blue Eyes 
Far from the Madding Crowd 
The Hand of Ethelberta 
The Return of the Native 
The Trumpet-Major John Loveday 
A Laodicean 
Two on a Tower 
The Mayor of Casterbridge 
The Woodlanders 
Tess of the d'Urbervilles 
Jude the Obscure 
The Well–Beloved 
Wessex Tales : The Three Strangers; A Tradition of Eighteen Hundred and Four; The Melancholy Hussar of the German Legion; The Withered Arm; Fellow-Townsmen; Interlopers at the Knap; The Distracted Preacher
A Group of Noble Dames : The first Countess of Wessex; Barbara of the House of Grebe; The Marchioness of Stonehenge; Lady Mottisfont; The Lady Icenway; Squire Petrick's Lady, Anna, Lady Baxby; The Lady Penelope; The Duchess of Hamptonshire; The Honourable Laura
Life's Little Ironies : An Imaginative Woman; The Son's Veto; For Conscience' Sake; A Tragedy of Two Ambitions; On the Western Circuit; To Please His Wife; The Fiddler of the Reels; A Few Crusted Characters
A Changed Man and Other Tales : A Changed Man; The Waiting Supper; Alicia's Diary; The Grave by the Handpost; Enter A Dragoon; A Tryst at an Ancient Earth Work; What the Shepherd Saw; A Committee-Man of 'The Terror'; The Duke's Reappearance; A Mere Interlude; The Romantic Adventures of a Milkmaid
Uncollected Stories: Blue Jimmy: The Horse Stealer; Destiny and a Blue Cloak; How I Built Myself a House; Old Mrs Chundle; Our Exploits at West Poley; The Doctor's Legend; The Spectre of the Real; The Thieves Who Couldn't Help Sneezing; The Unconquerable; An Indiscretion in the Life of an Heiress
Young farm worker Michael Henchard arrives in Casterbridge, Wessex, with his wife and child, looking for a job. Instead, he finds rum. At the town fair, Henchard quarrels with his wife and drunkenly auctions her and his daughter to the assembled crowd. He sells his family to a sailor for five guineas, a monstrous crime that marks him for a lifetime of guilt and pain.
The next morning, Henchard swears off drink. Eighteen years later, he is the wealthy—and sober—mayor of Casterbridge, his terrible secret buried deep in the past. But when Henchard falls in love with a young woman on a trip to the island of Jersey, his inability to marry her threatens to destroy her reputation. The sudden return of his wife and daughter presents Henchard with a chance to finally make things right—or doom himself forever.
This ebook has been professionally proofread to ensure accuracy and readability on all devices.
This Third Norton Critical Edition of Hardy’s final novel has been revised to reflect the breadth of responses it has received over the last fifteen years. The text of the novel is again based on Hardy’s final revision for the 1912 Wessex Edition.
The Norton Critical Edition also includes:
· Expanded footnotes by Ralph Pite, further drawing out Hardy’s web of allusions and comprehensively indicating the material culture in which he embeds this narrative.
· A selection of Hardy’s poems—four of them new to the Third Edition—that emphasizes the biographical contexts from which parts of Jude the Obscure arose.
· Eighteen critical responses, including eleven modern essays—eight of them new to the Third Edition. Simon Gatrell, Michael Hollington, Elaine Showalter, Victor Luftig, and Mary Jacobus are among the new voices.
· A Chronology and revised and expanded Selected Bibliography.
In Thomas Hardy’s first major literary success, independent and spirited Bathsheba Everdene has come to Weatherbury to take up her position as a farmer on the largest estate in the area. Her bold presence draws three very different suitors: the gentleman-farmer Boldwood, the soldier-seducer Sergeant Troy, and the devoted shepherd Gabriel Oak. Each, in contrasting ways, unsettles her decisions and complicates her life, and tragedy ensues, threatening the stability of the whole community. One of his first works set in the semi-fictional region of Wessex, Hardy’s novel of swift passion and slow courtship is imbued with his evocative descriptions of rural life and landscapes, and with unflinching honesty about sexual relationships.