Victorian novelist and poet Thomas Hardy focused much of his work -- including classics like Far from the Madding Crowd (1874) and Tess of the d'Urbervilles (1891) on man's futile struggle against unseen forces. Of his rather unromantic outlook on life, Hardy once said, "Pessimism is, in brief, playing the sure game. You cannot lose at it; you may gain. It is the only view of life in which you can never be disappointed."
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Date of Birth:
June 2, 1840
Place of Birth:
Higher Brockhampon, Dorset, England
Date of Death:
January 11, 1928
|Place of Death:
Max Gate, Dorchester, England
Served as apprentice to architect James Hicks
|An Author's Outlook|
|Hardy was a confirmed atheist at a time when this attitude was not considered "respectable" in much of polite society. Some have attributed the rather dark outlook of many of his works as a byproduct of his belief in the profound absence of God or any higher being coming to humanity's aid in times of tragedy.|
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|Tess of the d'Urbervilles |
Thomas Hardy, David Galef (Introduction)
Highly controversial because of its frank look at the sexual hypocrisy of Victorian society, this Hardy novel was nonetheless a great commercial success when it appeared in 1891. This portrait of a beautiful young woman destroyed by forces beyond her control is now considered one of the finest novels in English.
|The Life of Thomas Hardy|
An original and penetrating account of Hardy's extraordinary creative life and longevity, this comprenensive biography reveals the biographical and literary backgrounds behind Hardy's works. Author Paul Turner shows how Hardy's knowledge and interest in Greek tragedy, Latin poetry, Shakespeare, and others profoundly influenced his writing.