Thomas Hardy: A Biography Revisited

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Michael Millgate's biography of Thomas Hardy, great novelist and poet, was first published in 1982. Much new information about Hardy has since become available, often in volumes edited or co-edited by Millgate himself, and many established assumptions have been challenged and revolutionized by scholarly research. In this extensively revised, fully reconsidered, and considerably expanded new edition the world's leading Hardy scholar draws not only upon these new materials but upon an understanding of Hardy gained from long immersion in the study of his life and work. Many large and small aspects of Hardy's life are here freshly illuminated, including his family background, his fumbling self-education as a poet, his difficult relations with his first wife and hers with his family, his sexual infatuations, his secret collaborations with aspiring women writers, his clandestine composition of his own official biography, and the memory-invoking techniques by which he sustained his remarkable creativity into extreme old age. Thomas Hardy: A Biography Revisited will become the standard life of Hardy for a new generation.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In this expanded and extensively revised edition of his 1982 biography of Thomas Hardy, Millgate (English, emeritus, Univ. of Toronto) incorporates such fresh details as Hardy's family background, fumbling self-education as a poet, difficult relations with his first wife and hers with his family, sexual infatuations, secret collaboration with aspiring women writers, and clandestine composition of his own official biography (omitting significant events), as well as the techniques he employed to sustain his creativity into old age. Moreover, this edition draws upon Millgate's insights into and understanding of the great literary master that he has studied over 40 years. Millgate's account of Hardy's relationships and how they went into the making of Tess, Jude, and other novels is particularly edifying. References and 60 black-and-white illustrations are included. Recommended for Hardy students and scholars, especially those having a biographical interest, and for general readers. Aparna Zambare, Central Michigan Univ. Libs., Mount Pleasant Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"Millgate amplifies his much-admired 1982 life of the novelist, drawing on new archival material. This is one of those thick, well-written biographies one can happily lose oneself in."—Michael Dirda, The Washington Post Book World

"One of the many achievements of Michael Millgate's seminal biography of Hardy, appearing now in a revised and expanded edition two decades after its original publication, is its careful depiction of just how the author was able to take the raw material of his rural youth and turn it into what Millgate called 'a total imaginative world with a solid, complex, and comprehensively realized existence in space and time.'"—The Globe and Mail [Toronto]

"Since [the] first edition, Millgate has edited an impressive array of materials on Hardy.... Millgate's immersion in these materials caused him to reconsider several facets of Hardy's life and career. For example, Millgate provides here a fresh treatment of Hardy's upbringing in rural Dorchester and offers an insightful analysis of Hardy's complicated attitudes about class. Millgate also creates a sophisticated, balanced view of Hardy's two wives.... Beautifully written and meticulously researched by the world's leading Hardy scholar, this book replaces the earlier edition. Essential."—Choice

"Milllgate's Thomas Hardy: A Biography Revisited has been so thoroughly revised and updated that it fully merits the new title. Millgate has ample new findings to draw on (other scholars' and his own), and the updated work is likely to be the standard biography for at least another twenty years."—Studies in English Literature 1500-1900 "Few biographers have the good fortune to be able to rewrite so fully a major study twenty years later, and Millgate has made the most of it."—English Literature in Transition 1880-1920

Praise for the previous edition: "The standard biography, indispensable to all who covet the particulars of Hardy's life."—Times Higher Education Supplement

"By far the most detailed and comprehensive account of Hardy's personal and literary life now available."—Times Literary Supplement

"A splendid biography.... Millgate is the kind of biographer who writers dream of. He gives us all the necessary details, but none of the gratuitous ones."—The New York Times

"There has been no better account of the genesis and production of the novels, and of the magnitude of both the achievement and the cost."—New Statesman

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199275656
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 12/15/2004
  • Pages: 638
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.40 (h) x 1.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Millgate is University Professor of English Emeritus at the University of Toronto. He has edited seven volumes of Hardy's letters, and the selected letters of his wives.

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Table of Contents

1. Hardys and Hands
2. Bockhampton
3. Dorchester
4. London
5. The Poor Man and the Lady
6. St Juliot
7. Far From the Madding Crowd
8. Marriage
9. Sturminster Newton
10. The Return of the Native
11. Illness
12. Return to Dorchester
13. Max Gate
14. The Woodlanders
15. The Writing of Tess
16. The Publication of Tess
17. Florence Henniker
18. The Making of Jude
19. The Publication of Jude
20. Keeping Separate
21. Pessimistic Meliorist
22. The Dynasts
23. After the Visit
24. A Funeral
25. A Second Marriage
26. Life-Writing
27. Tea at Max Gate
28. Plays and Players
29. Last Things
30. Afterwards

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