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Mostof dangerous beauty, suggesting that Hardy himself

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Mostof Hardy’s work is set in a semi-fictional region called Wessex,
half imagined, half real, because Hardy himself substitutes the actual names
for places with alternative names from his own mind. The name Wessexcomes from
the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Wessex that was fragmented following the invasion of
William the Conqueror in 1066. In his imaginary Wessex, Hardy gives many real
places alternative names as if it were a kind of parallel universe. This was
Hardy’s devise, partly to make it enough clear that his work was not about real
people and places. However, it was also a device to provide a world into which
he could escape as a writer.In many respects, the literature of Thomas Hardy is
quintessentially English in tone and content. His stories are set in the
deepest rural and pastoral southwest, where time attempts to stand still,
preserving an English idyll that was worlds apart from the industrialization of
the 19th century. For this reason, his novels are described as
belonging to the genre of “naturalism.”

Hardy’s birthplace is filled with ancient sites
of human activity and prehistoric evidence of a past without humanity. He
wanted to make it clear that we each have a window of opportunity in life to
make our mark. That is why he had little time for people whom he considered to
be famous or self -interested. He was acutely aware that it is the impression
that we make on others and in their memories that counts the most, both during
life and after death. Hardy was a humanist. His own life was not so happy and
Hardy’s female characters have a dangerous beauty, suggesting that Hardy
himself was trapped in the women’s beguiling infatuation. Also his novels
raised contraventions while touching delicate themes, such as marriage, sex,
education and religion.

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In the meantime, Hardy had already completed
his first manuscript of the novel The Poor Man and the Ladyby 1867, with
no luck to be accepted by a publisher, supposedly considered politically
controversial, thus Hardy destroyed the manuscript. Nevertheless, Hardy’s ambitions
knew no bound and he had his first publication in 1871 with the novel Desperate
Remedies, followed by Under the Greenwood Tree in 1872, anonymously.
Although he wrote poetry all the time, at the beginning he became famous as a prose-writer.
In 1873, he published his third novel, this time by his own name: A Pair of
Blue Eyes(1873) tells about his courtship to his first wife, Emma. In the
novel Far from the Madding Crowd(1874),he mentions for the first time
Wessex, where the plots of his novels are set.

Together with The Hand of Ethelberta(1876),
the first five novels by Hardywere well received and his confidence in pushing
in his literary career grew steadily. His sixth novel The Return of the
Native (1878) is widely regarded as the first modern novel, because it
dared to examine themes that Victorian society pretended not to exist – namely
sexual desire and obsession. Other famous novels by Hardy are:The Mayor of
the Casterbridge(1886), where a man who gives away his wife and his only daughter
when he is drunk and repents deeply the next day when he is sober, but in vain;
Jude the Obscure(1895), which is the last completed novel by Hardy and speaks
about a young stonemason who dreams of becoming an educated man.

Hardy considered himself primarily a poet. He
wrote poetry throughout his life and he was born with poetry in his blood, but
his first collection, Wessex Poems and Other Verses, a collection of
fifty-one poems, written during a 30- year period of time, was published only
in 1898. Hardy’s poetry is known for its varieties of forms including dramatic
monologues and colorful dialogue, ballads, satires and the most important,
lyrics. He was inspired by ballads and folksongs, however not getting trapped
in folklores, but being characterized as an unconventional, experimenting and
inventing poet.

He also published Poems of the Past and the
Present (1901) and Time’s Laughingstocks and Other Verses
(1909).Following the death of his first wife, Emma, he published Poems of
1912-13, which is part of the volume Satires of Circumstances 1914.
Mourning his wife’s death, Hardy included there some of the best elegies in
English poetry. Other poetry books by Hardy are:Moments of Vision
(1917), Collected Poems (1919), Late Lyrics and Earlier with Mary
Other Verses (1922), Human Shows(1925), Winter Words in Various
Moods and Metres (1928). Also Thomas Hardy wrote The Dynasts
1904-08, an epic drama in three volumes. He published Tess of the
d’Urbervilles in 1891 and it is considered his most famous and best novel,
including the controversy it sparked when it reached the reader. 

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