No other major author of the nineteenth century has arguably produced as much critical activity as Thomas Hardy. This stimulating and timely new study offers fresh perspectives on his work, exploring the various philosophical views of critics with close textual analysis of Hardy's novels
presents detailed readings of all of the novels, moving beyond the ever popular Tess of the D'uberviles and judge the obscure to provide original analyses of other key works such as Desperate Remedies, under the Greenwood Tree, Far from the madding Crowd and The Mayor of Casterbridge
includes discussion of Hardy's poems where relevant in order to serve as a counterpoint to the main texts and to highlight particular issues
sets forth a provocative argument that hardy is not of his time but anticipates modernism and contemporary philosophical questions of being, historicity and subjectivity, as these are in turn inflected by material concerns of the late nineteenth century.
Focusing on the tensions between the archaic and the modern in Hardy's novels, this insightful books is essential reading for anyone interested in the work of this fascinating and widely-studied author.