An English Victorian author of novels, poems, and short stories, Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) is best known for the classic books Far from the Madding Crowd, The Mayor of Casterbridge, Tess of the d'Urbervilles, and Jude the Obscure. Set mostly in the semi-imagined region of Wessex, Hardy’s fictional works retain their popularity thanks to an accessible style, Romantic plots, and richly drawn characters.
A GROUP OF NOBLE DAMES (Illustrated)by Thomas Hardy
These stories of great ladies of the past do, somehow, gain in color when it is remembered that they are supposed to be
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Thomas Hardy knew the value of 'the setting' and he revealed new possibilities for its significance. With "A Group of Noble Dames", his first volume of short stories, the setting is something more than just a thread to string tales upon.
These stories of great ladies of the past do, somehow, gain in color when it is remembered that they are supposed to be narrated by the male members of a Field and Antiquarian Club who are kept by the rain within the walls of the local museum. The setting may have been an afterthought; but it is characteristic. These stories of the passions and humors of dead men and women are told among the remains of prehistoric beasts, bones of Vespasian's soldiery, birds that were killed and stuffed yesterday or a year ago. And they are told by men who will soon be dead.
There is the characteristic double vision—-the briefness of life, the importance to each man and woman of his own tiny span.
The tales themselves are among the fruits of Hardy's delvings into the records of the past, which undoubtedly fascinated him, be they the remains of past epochs in Maumbury Rings or in his own garden, or the stories of men and women that may be discovered from family trees or the lips of the aged. These Noble Dames and their stories are very various—tragical, bitter, horrible, amusing; but in all we see human desire and endeavor thwarted by the irony of circumstance, which is only the indifference of fate.
Each tale is very finely worked; the whole presents a rich variety of life; and it is worth noticing how, with very little insistence on detail, Hardy's knowledge and imagination carry the reader right into the atmosphere of each "period."
We shall meet with this power again in this, one of his crowning works.
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Meet the Author
- Date of Birth:
- June 2, 1840
- Date of Death:
- January 11, 1928
- Place of Birth:
- Higher Brockhampon, Dorset, England
- Place of Death:
- Max Gate, Dorchester, England
- Served as apprentice to architect James Hicks
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Thomas Hardy was probably at his best in short stories, rather than the long, complex novel structure. These short stories are well-told, timely gems that will be hard to forget.
A good read.
Pagination is off and words are unreadable. I am deleting it from my library - a waste of time.