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Have you ever heard of Thomas Hardy? Can
you name two of his novels? Read the
biography and check.
was bom in Dorset, England. He studied as
an architect before he went to King’s
College in London. London life didn’t suit
him, though, and he returned to Dorset five
years later to devote himself to writing.
Although Hardy was a gifted poet and novelist, he did not
have an easy start. He could not find a publisher for his first
novel, The Poor Man and the Lady in 1867, and he almost gave
up writing there and then. The next two were published
under a different name and it wasn’t until 1873 that he got
his confidence back and published under his own name.
Most of his novels are set in the semi-fictional county of
Wessex and describe his characters’ efforts to overcome
their circumstances and their desires. Far from the Madding
Crowd (1874), The Return of the Native (1878), The Mayor of
Casterbridge (1886) and The Woodlanders (1887) are some of
his novels which are still loved and admired today for
their colourful characterisation and moral messages.
Tess of the d'Urbervilles (1891) tells the story of a poor young
farmer’s daughter and the events and misfortunes that
shape her life. One day her father finds out he has noble
ancestry and her life changes. She travels to Trantridge to
As Tess grew older, and began to see how matters
stood, she wished her mother hadn’t thoughtlessly
given her so many little sisters and brothers,
Her mother's way of thinking was that of a happy child:
Joan Durbeyfield was simply another in a large family,
waiting for help from fate.
Every day seemed to throw upon her young shoulders
more of the family burdens, and that Tess should be the
representative of the Durbeyfields at the d'Urberville
mansion, was taken for granted.