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Thomas Hardy Biography




Early Life

Thomas Hardy was born at Higher Bockhampton, a village near dorchester, on 2nd June 1840. His father was a builder architect. He received his first lessons from his mother. Then he was admitted to Dorchester school. While still at school he was apprenticed to an ecclesiastical architect, John Hicks. He practiced the art of architecture for some years. He also studied Greek and Latin and engaged in much wide reading in subjects not connected with architecture.

Thomas Hardy: 1860-1920

In 1862 he proceeded to London and had his lessons in Gothic architecture for about five years from Sir Arthur Blomfield. During this time he also attended lectures at king's college. At the same time he began to practice poetry. The influence of Wordworth and Coleridge shaped his style. His contact with the great poet and novelist George Meredith in 1968 changed the course of his life. He began to write a series of novels dealing with the peasant life of Wessex villages. But the adverse comments of some critics, because of the pessimistic view and immoral tone of his last novel Jude the Obscure, made him give up novel writing and turn to poetry once again. For his great service to literature he was awarded Order of Merit in 1910.

Honoured

After his death at Dorchester on 11th January 1928, his heart was taken out and deposited in the grave of his first wife, Emma Lavinia Gifford, in the churchyard of Strinsforth. The remaining portion of his body was cremated and the ashes were buried in the poets' corner in Westminster Abbey.

Thomas Hardy poems

His early poems were collected in the volume Wesses Poems (1898). His other volumes of poems are Poems of the Past and present (1902), Time's Laughing Stocks (1909), Collected poems (1919), and Winter Words (published posthumously in 1928).