April 29, 2003
5.08 X 7.78 X 1.07 inches | 0.75 pounds
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About the Author
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) immortalized the site of his birth--Egdon Heath, in Dorset, near Dorchester--in his writing. Delicate as a child, he was taught at home by his mother before he attended grammar school. At sixteen, Hardy was apprenticed to an architect, and for many years, architecture was his profession; in his spare time, he pursued his first and last literary love, poetry. Finally convinced that he could earn his living as an author, he retired from architecture, married, and devoted himself to writing. An extremely productive novelist, Hardy published an important book every year or two. In 1896, disturbed by the public outcry over the unconventional subjects of his two greatest novels--Tess of the D'Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure--he announced that he was giving up fiction and afterward produced only poetry. In later years, he received many honors. He was buried in Poet's Corner, in Westminster Abbey. It was as a poet that he wished to be remembered, but today critics regard his novels as his most memorable contribution to English literature for their psychological insight, decisive delineation of character, and profound presentation of tragedy. Keith Wilson is a Professor of English at the University of Ottawa and has edited Hardy's Fiddler of the Reels and Other Stories for Penguin Classics.
"Hardy's world is a world that can never disappear." --Margaret Drabble