A Companion to Thomas Hardy / Edition 1

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A Companion to Thomas Hardy brings together new essays on all aspects of Thomas Hardy’s work by thirty of the world’s most distinguished Hardy scholars. Groundbreaking insights are revealed through examinations of his novels, short stories, poetry, and the often neglected epic-drama, The Dynasts, that Hardy, like many of his contemporaries, considered to be his major achievement. The Companion provides an influential re-assessment of Hardy’s place in both Victorian and Modern literature, with essays that consider his complexity as a biographical subject, probe his ideas and attitudes in relation to their socio-cultural, scientific, and philosophical contexts, analyze his distinctive achievements in the remarkable variety of genres in which he worked, and assess his legacy for subsequent modernist writers.

Comprehensive and authoritative, A Companion to Thomas Hardy offers an unparalleled range of contemporary scholarship on an author whose transitional position between the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-centuries makes him central to the study of both. This Companion provides a seamless overview of the entirety of Hardy’s oeuvre, through historical contextualization and analysis of key works.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Perhaps Hardy the poet needs a separate Companion. If it matched this one in the quality of writing and usefulness to the student, it would be a treasure.” (Victorian Studies, 1 October 2012)
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Keith Wilson is Professor of English at the University of Ottawa. He is the author of Thomas Hardy on Stage (1995), editor of the Penguin Classics editions of The Mayor of Casterbridge (1997; 2003) and The Fiddler of the Reels and Other Stories (2003, with Kristin Brady), and editor of Thomas Hardy Reappraised: Essays in Honour of Michael Millgate (2006). He is also the co-editor, with Michael Millgate, of the 8th volume of The Collected Letters of Thomas Hardy, and editor for the forthcoming Cambridge edition of Tess of the d'Urbervilles. In addition to his work on Hardy, he has also published widely on nineteenth- and twentieth-century British literature, Victorian and Edwardian music hall, and the literary representation of London.

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Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors viii

List of Abbreviations xiv

Introduction 1
Keith Wilson

Part I The Life 5

1 Hardy as Biographical Subject 7
Michael Millgate

Part II The Intellectual Context 19

2 Hardy and Philosophy 21
Phillip Mallett

3 Hardy and Darwin: An Enchanting Hardy? 36
George Levine

4 Hardy and the Place of Culture 54
Angelique Richardson

5 “The Hard Case of the Would-be-Religious”: Hardy and the Church from Early Life to Later Years 71
Pamela Dalziel

6 Thomas Hardy’s Notebooks 86
William Greenslade

7 “Genres are not to be mixed. . . . I will not mix them”: Discourse, Ideology, and Generic Hybridity in Hardy’s Fiction 102
Richard Nemesvari

8 Hardy and his Critics: Gender in the Interstices 117
Margaret R. Higonnet

Part III The Socio-Cultural Context 131

9 “His Country”: Hardy in the Rural 133
Ralph Pite

10 Thomas Hardy of London 146
Keith Wilson

11 “A Thickness of Wall”: Hardy and Class 162
Roger Ebbatson

12 Reading Hardy through Dress: The Case of Far From the Madding Crowd 178
Simon Gatrell

13 Hardy and Romantic Love 194
Michael Irwin

14 Hardy and the Visual Arts 210
J. B. Bullen

15 Hardy and Music: Uncanny Sounds 223
Claire Seymour

Part IV The Works 239

16 The Darkening Pastoral: Under the Greenwood Tree and Far From the Madding Crowd 241
Stephen Regan

17 “Wild Regions of Obscurity”: Narrative in The Return of the Native 254
Penny Boumelha

18 Hardy’s “Novels of Ingenuity” Desperate Remedies, The Hand of Ethelberta, and A Laodicean: Rare Hands at Contrivances 267
Mary Rimmer

19 Hardy’s “Romances and Fantasies” A Pair of Blue Eyes, The Trumpet-Major, Two on a Tower, and The Well-Beloved: Experiments in Metafiction 281
Jane Thomas

20 The Haunted Structures of The Mayor of Casterbridge 299
Julian Wolfreys

21 Dethroning the High Priest of Nature in The Woodlanders 313
Andrew Radford

22 Melodrama, Vision, and Modernity: Tess of the d’Urbervilles 328
Tim Dolin

23 Jude the Obscure and English National Identity: The Religious Striations of Wessex 345
Dennis Taylor

24 “. . . into the hands of pure-minded English girls”: Hardy’s Short Stories and the Late Victorian Literary Marketplace 364
Peter Widdowson

25 Sequence and Series in Hardy’s Poetry 378
Tim Armstrong

26 Hardy’s Poems: The Scholarly Situation 395
William W. Morgan

27 That’s Show Business: Spectacle, Narration, and Laughter in The Dynasts 413
G. Glen Wickens

Part V Hardy the Modern 431

28 Modernist Hardy: Hand-Writing in The Mayor of Casterbridge 433
J. Hillis Miller

29 Inhibiting the Voice: Thomas Hardy and Modern Poetics 450
Charles Lock

30 Hardy’s Heirs: D. H. Lawrence and John Cowper Powys 465
Terry R. Wright

Index 479

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