Born: June 2, 1840
Known for: Romantic Novels, Landscapes, Flora and fauna, Wessex, Pessimism, Fate-plots, Human Emotions
Famous Books: Far from the Madding Crowd, Mayor of Casterbridge, Jude the Obscure, and Tess of d’Urbervilles
Died: January 11, 1928
Thomas Hardy is the only author who comes into our mind as soon as we think of novels with clumsy and slow romance which mostly compel us to rebel and tear into the fictional world to alter things as much as we could… Thomas Hardy, the novelist who could be called a late Victorian having spent his days in the modern (twentieth century), is one of the most popular novelists of all time writing in English. He wrote more than 15 novels out of which more than 8 could be called the novels on which his entire writing career might rest comfortably. Making the numbers even more precise, we can say that his novels Far from the Madding Crowd, Jude the Obscure, The Mayor of Casterbridge, The Return to the Native and Tess of the d’Urbervilles contain his fortune and legacy as a novelist. He was a rebel in himself; his writings, his themes, his characters and almost everything about his novels was a revolt against social injustice and orthodoxy.
Thomas Hardy was also a poet in his own right. Nevertheless, his poetry could not make him known much as a poet even though he had written a lot of them! His popularity solely rests on his novels of repute and revolt. Hardy is called to be a word painter who could evoke the ethos of his readers. His descriptions, you will find if you read, are so meaningful and elaborate that one can feel the thing being described by Thomas Hardy in his novels.
“These eyes were blue; blue as autumn distance – blue as the blue we see between the retreating mouldings on the hills and woody slopes on a sunny September morning. A misty and shady blue, that had no beginning or surface, and was looked into rather than at.”
Thomas Hardy was a hardcore believer in fate as most of his characters would always meet a tough fate in his novels. Ironically enough, most of the characters whom we love as readers of Hardy’s novels, all met a hard fate and always struggled against it! The best example of the struggle against fate (as well as circumstances) could be seen in Far from the Madding Crowd and Jude the Obscure. Oak and Jude are two characters who were passionate and sincere but they always found themselves up in arms against the circumstances and their fate.
Hardy was himself twice married. He was born in 1840 and died in 1928. His first wife was Emma Gifford and his second was Florence Dugdale. Hardy was a melancholy person most of the time and we can find a reflection of his mood in most of his writings irrespective of the genre. It’s tough to define Thomas Hardy as a novelist though! In a single novel of his, you can find so many facets of life and you would surely be baffled by what to do when you have to pass your judgment on the author and his work.
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