Thomas Hardy OM Biography, Wiki, Novels, Poem, Drama, Death, Wife, Max-Gate

Thomas Hardy OM Biography, Wiki, Novels, Poem, Drama, Death, Love, Wife, Max-Gate:- Thomas Hardy OM 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.

When he was a young man, England still had a largely agricultural economy and Queen Victoria presided over an ever-expanding worldwide empire. By the time he died, the forces of modernization had changed England forever.

Thomas Hardy OM Wiki

Born2 June 1840
Stinsford, Dorset, England
Died11 January 1928 (aged 87)
Dorchester, Dorset, England
Resting placeStinsford parish church (heart)Poets’ Corner, Westminster Abbey (ashes)
OccupationNovelist, poet, and short-story writer
Alma materKing’s College London
Literary movementNaturalism, Victorian literature
Notable worksTess of the d’Urbervilles,
Far from the Madding Crowd,
The Mayor of Casterbridge,
Collected Poems
Jude the Obscure
SpouseEmma Gifford
(1874–1912)Florence Dugdale
(1914–1928)

Who is Thomas Hardy OM

Thomas Hardy was one of the most renowned poets and novelists in English literary history.

Thomas Hardy OM
Thomas Hardy OM

Thomas Hardy OM Early Life and bio

Thomas Hardy was born on June 2, 1840, in the English village of Higher Bockhampton in the county of Dorset, England.  Thomas was The first of four children. Thomas hardy learned the book by his parents. his mother’s name was Jemina and his father’s name was Thomas. With help of their parents, Thomas hardy was able to read before starting school and also play the violin, and he often journeyed about the countryside playing for dances and storing up the impressions of rural life that makeup so large a part of his work.

Thomas Hardy OM Education

Thomas Hardy is Done his schooling in a local school. He went to his first school at Bockhampton at the age of eight. For several years he attended Mr. Last’s Academy for Young Gentlemen in Dorchester, where he learned many languages like Latin, French, and German. Because Hardy’s family lacked the means for a university education, his formal education ended at the age of sixteen. Thomas Hardy OM Biography

Thomas Hardy early Work

In 1856 at the small age of 16, He became an apprentice (a person who works for someone in order to gain experience in a trade) to John Hicks,

John Hicks specialized in church restoration. His occupation required extensive trips to various locations in Dorset. At Hick’s office Hardy met another boy, Henry Bastow, who had a similar interest in classical literature, especially poetry, and in religious matters. Hardy could only read early in the morning, between five and eight, before he left for the office.

At this time he thought seriously about attending university and entering the Church, but he did not do so. In 1862 he went to London, England, to work. Also at this time, Hardy began writing poetry after being impressed by Reverend William Barnes, a local poet.

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Thomas hardy in London

In April 1862, Hardy decided to suspend his architectural apprenticeship and left for London. He rented lodgings at 3, Clarence Place, at Kilburn, near Edgware Road. Thomas Hardy OM Biography

Some biographers speculate that his decision was caused by yet another unsuccessful love affair. Thomas had already been infatuated with two Dorset girls: Elizabeth Sarah Bishop (Lizbie Browne), who “scorned him as too young,” and Louisa Harding, to whom he spoke only two words, a shy “Good evening” in the lane. Now he had proposed and been rejected by a Dorchester girl, Mary Waight, who was older than he. Hence, possibly the move to London was caused not only by his desire to learn more but also to make a fresh start in life.

In London Hardy spent five years working as an assistant architect for Arthur Blomfield (1829-1899), who restored and designed churches, usually in a Gothic Revival style. Blomfield was very glad of his new associate and proposed him for a member of the Architectural Association. Hardy also explored the scientific and cultural life of London.

Thomas hardy Back in Bockhampton

In July 1867, unable to have his poems published and weary of London, Hardy left the capital to return to Bockhampton and resumed working for Hicks. Shortly after his return, Hardy probably entered into a passionate affair with Tryphena Sparks (1851-1890), an attractive sixteen-year-old cousin. Tryphena was the youngest child of James and Maria Sparks, Hardy’s uncle and aunt, who lived in a thatched cottage in the nearby village of Puddletown. Some biographers believe that in the years 1868 to 1870 when she was a trainee teacher in the Puddletown school, she had a romance with Hardy, although there is too little evidence of their relationship. Nevertheless, Tryphena must have exerted some profound effect on Hardy’s life since she appears in disguise in many of his novels and poems. After her death, Hardy wrote a poem pervaded with personal memories, entitled “Thoughts of Phena”. Thomas Hardy OM Biography

Early life of Thomas Hardy OM
Early life of Thomas Hardy OM

Thomas Hardy First novels

Under the inspiration of George Meredith’s prose, Hardy began to write his first novel, The Poor Man and the Lady, which he submitted to the publishing house of Alexander Macmillan. Although Macmillan did not publish it, he encouraged Hardy to keep writing.

Meredith advised him to write novels with more plot. In 1869, John Hicks died and Hardy moved to Weymouth to seek employment as an architectural assistant. At the same time, he began to write another novel, Desperate Remedies, which was also rejected by Macmillan but published anonymously in three volumes by the publisher William Tinsley in 1871. After the publication of Desperate Remedies, Hardy decided to devote himself fully to writing, although he could not yet achieve literary or financial success. In 1872, he published his second novel, Under the Greenwood Tree.

Encouraged by favorable reception Hardy published A Pair of Blue Eyes (1873), the most autobiographical of all his novels, which introduced some of the themes he would develop in his later works. The fourth novel Far from the Madding Crowd (1874) gained public notice and eventually brought him financial success. In 1878, The Return of the Native brought Hardy another publishing success. The ensuing years would bring him a constant rise in literary popularity. Hardy set all his novels in the fictional part of south and south-west England which he called Wessex.

Thomas Hardy Love and Wife

When Hardy was occupied in the restoration of a church in St. Juliot, near the site of the legendary Castle Tintagel, King Arthur’s Camelot in Cornwall in 1870, he met for the first time Emma Lavinia Gifford, the local rector’s sister-in-law.

He was captivated by both her looks and admiration for him. Emma, who was attracted by Hardy’s literary interests, encouraged him to write fiction and poetry.

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They soon fell in love with each other but waited four years to be married at St Peters Church, Paddington, London, on 17 September 1874. Curiously enough, none of Hardy’s family attended the wedding ceremony, which was performed by Canon Edwin Hamilton Gifford, Emma’s uncle, who later became Archdeacon of London.

When they married, they were both thirty years old, but Hardy thought she looked much younger and she thought he looked much older. The first years of their marriage were quite happy. The couple spent their honeymoon in Paris and traveled extensively in England and on the Continent. Thomas Hardy OM Biography

However, in later years, Emma felt more and more estranged from her husband. She did not entirely approve of the content of his fictions, and last but not least, his romantic attachments to young artistic ladies, such as Florence Henniker, Rosamund Tomson, and Agnes Grove. Emma kept a secret diary in which she recorded her remarks and her complaints about her husband.

Thomas hardy second marriage

The sudden death on 27th November 1912 of Hardy’s wife Emma, with whom he had long been estranged, threw him into complete disarray. After her funeral and burial in Stinsford churchyard, Hardy reproached himself that he had not realized how seriously ill she was.

The death of his wife prompted him to write a number of poems that recalled his happy time with Emma when they were young. After Emma’s death, Hardy did not remain alone at Max Gate. He was taken care of by his niece and a young woman, Florence Dugdale (1879-1937), who had been introduced to him while Emma was still alive.

Florence was a Dorset schoolmaster’s daughter. She was a shy, charming woman with some literary aspirations who had published a few books for children and also written poetry, though with little success. Occasionally she did the research for Hardy in London when he could not do it himself. Hardy became infatuated with the young woman who admired him as a great writer,

on 6 February 1914, he married Florence, who was almost forty years younger than he. Sadly, his second marriage soon proved to be disappointing as the first one, mainly due to the fact that Hardy was fond of “spending much of each day closeted in his study”

Thomas Hardy Max Gate

In 1885, the couple settled near Dorchester at Max Gate, a large mid-Victorian villa, which Hardy had designed himself where he lived for the rest of his life. In 1895-96 and 1907, Hardy made significant extensions and alterations to the house, including enlarging the kitchen and refurbishing his study. Hardy felt extremely comfortable at Max Gate, which he often called his country retreat.

In 1886, his second tragic novel, The Mayor of Casterbridge, was published. Its fictional setting resembles old Dorchester, a market town that Hardy knew very well. In 1887, Hardy and his wife Emma took a trip to Italy. They returned to Max Gate via Paris and London. In 1896, Emma introduced Hardy to the newly fashionable sport of cycling. Hardy bought himself an expensive Rover Cobb bike, and the couple frequently toured the Dorset countryside. Thomas Hardy OM Biography

Apart from cycling, Hardy and his wife used to make annual visits to London in spring or summer. They attended theatres, operas, and social gatherings. After spending summer 1896 in London, the Hardys extended their holidays and visited three English towns: Worcester, Stratford, and Dover. Next, they went to Belgium. Hardy saw the historic Field of Waterloo, where Napoleon was defeated. He had already made a plan of his epic drama The Dynasts, devoted to the history of Napoleonic wars

Thomas Hardy OM
Thomas Hardy OM

Tomas hardy poetry

The publication of Tess of the d’Urbervilles in 1891 shocked and dismayed the Victorian public with its presentation of a young beautiful girl seduced by an aristocratic villain.

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In order to have the novel published, Hardy made some concessions about its plot; extensive passages were either severely modified or deleted outright. The same happened to his last novel, Jude the Obscure, published in book form in 1895. In 1898, disturbed by the public uproar over the reception of his two greatest novels, Hardy announced that he had ceased to write prose fiction. He returned to poetry, which he regarded as a purer art form than prose fiction. As a young man, he could not make enough money to live on by writing poetry, so he had decided to write novels. However, after giving up the novel in adulthood, Hardy published a collection of his earlier poems under the title Wessex Poems (1898).

Between 1903 and 1908 Hardy wrote mostly in blank verse a great panorama of the Napoleonic wars, the epic drama The Dynasts. His literary authority was beyond dispute. In 1905, he was awarded an honorary degree at the University of Aberdeen and recognized as one of the most outstanding British authors. In 1910, King George V conferred on him the Order of Merit, and in 1912 he received the gold medal of the Royal Society of Literature. In 1913, Hardy, who had never graduated from college, received Cambridge honorary degree of Doctor of Letters.

His popularity grew immensely and his novels were reprinted, some of them being dramatized and performed on stage. In 1914, the adaptation of The Dynasts was performed at the Kingsway Theatre, London. Between 1911 and 1914 Hardy disposed of most of his manuscripts; some of them were deposited in public libraries and museums, others were purchased, mostly by American dealers and collectors.

Thomas hardy Final years

During the First World War Hardy was in his seventies. In spite of advanced age, he took an active part in campaigns defending Britain’s involvement in the war. He visited military hospitals and POW camps. In his last years, Hardy rarely left Max Gate although he remained vital; he was still interested in world affairs. Regarded as the most outstanding writer of his time, he was frequently visited at Max Gate by writers, artists, and politicians. His guests included James Barrie, Robert Louis Stevenson, Rudyard Kipling, A. E. Housman, Siegfried Sassoon, H. G. Wells, Robert Graves, Edmund Blunden, George Bernard Shaw, Virginia Woolf, and many others. Thomas Hardy OM Biography

From 1920 until 1927, he worked secretly on his autobiography, which was published in two volumes (1928 and 1930) as the work of Florence Hardy. It was later alleged that Florence had only typed the manuscript and added some minor corrections, but in fact, Florence’s emendations into the text seem to have been extensive. She probably reduced the number of references to Emma, included some anecdotes related to Hardy and added a few letters. Hardy destroyed almost all papers which he did not want to leave after his death. In 1924, he watched a dramatized version of his novel Tess of the d’Urbervilles given by the Hardy Players, an amateur group from Dorchester. The performance was so impressive that Hardy, despite his eighty years, became infatuated with the young actress who played Tess.

Thomas Hardy OM
Thomas Hardy OM

Thomas Hardy Death

After his eighty-seventh birthday, Hardy seemed much weaker than before. He did not leave Max Gate and stayed long in bed. He became increasingly reclusive and reticent about his past life. In autumn 1927, he fell seriously ill. He died on the evening of 11 January 1928. Before he died he asked his wife to read a verse from The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

Oh, Thou, who Man of baser Earth didst make,
And ev’n with Paradise devise the snake:
For all the Sin wherewith the Face of Man
Is blackened — Man’s forgiveness give — and take!

Strangely enough, Hardy had two simultaneous funerals. His body was cremated and placed (probably against his will) in the Poet’s Corner in Westminster Abbey in London. The official funeral was attended by Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin and the Leader of the Opposition Ramsay MacDonald, heads of Oxford and Cambridge colleges, where Hardy was an honorary fellow, and some outstanding literary figures like James Barrie, Arnold Bennett, John Galsworthy, Edmund Gosse, A. E. Housman, Rudyard Kipling, and George Bernard Shaw. Thomas Hardy OM Biography

At exactly the same time Hardy’s heart was buried alongside his first wife in Stinsford churchyard, Dorchester. The private service at Stinsford Church was attended by his brother Henry and local people who resembled characters from Hardy’s novels. Hardy left an estate of nearly 100,000 pounds which was divided among his wife, relatives, various libraries, museums, and charities.

As Evelyn Hardy wrote:

Hardy’s life was not primarily one of action. He was by nature a scholar and a writer: it is what goes on in the mind that holds us, and Hardy’s was rich with stored impressions.

In his long and uneventful life, Thomas Hardy wrote 14 novels, more than 40 short stories published in four volumes, over 900 poems and two dramas. Apart from his prose works and poetry, Hardy left a great number of letters, notebooks, pocket-books, diaries, and memoranda, but most of them were burned in accordance with his last will. Only twelve of them survived. They are the “Architectural Notebook”, the “Trumpet Major Notebook”, the “Schools of Painting” notebook, the “Studies, Specimens, etc.”, the “1867” notebook, the volumes of “Literary Notes”, “Memoranda” and the “Facts” notebook. All have been published over the last fifty years.

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