Questions tagged [thomas-hardy]

For questions about the works of Thomas Hardy and his life as a writer.

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Meaning of “and a good halfpenny where 'twas a bad one” in Thomas Hardy's “Far from the Madding Crowd”

From Far from the Madding Crowd, from the scene in which Bathsheba is paying her workers their wages: "What do you do on the farm?" "I do do carting things all the year, and in seed time I shoots ...
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Thomas Hardy’s “The Man He Killed”

This question is asking for open-ended interpretation of a poem. See here on meta for an explanation. Thomas Hardy’s ‘The Man He Killed’ (1902) was published in Time’s Laughingstocks (1909):     “...
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“Remembrance Day” in “Jude the Obscure”

In Thomas Hardy's Jude the Obscure (1894-95) some of the characters meet in Christminster (Oxford) on "Remembrance Day". For example: "The place seems gay," said Sue. "Why—it is Remembrance Day!—...
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188 views

Why was Far from the Madding Crowd first published anonymously?

I recently learned that Thomas Hardy's novel Far from the Madding Crowd was first published anonymously in Cornhill Magazine. As far as I know, publishing novels as monthly serials was reasonably ...
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490 views

Why the title Far From the Madding Crowd for the Thomas Hardy novel?

The title of Thomas Hardy's novel Far From the Madding Crowd presumably comes from this famous phrase in Thomas Gray's poem "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard", but I can't really see the ...
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325 views

What does this passage about the atmosphere blowing in Cyprus and the Galilee mean in “Jude the Obscure” mean?

When Jude is in the church, when he was following Sue, we see this line: ...was like the dew of the Hermon, and he remained throughout the service in a sustaining atmosphere of ecstasy. Though he ...
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44 views

How does Jude's work with masonry relate to his ambition of becoming a scholar?

In Jude the Obscure, work that Jude does is masonry - stones and menial labor. His ambition is to become a scholar - books and mental labor. I'm struggling to see how these relate to each other - how ...
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187 views

What was the connection between Hardy and Keats?

Thomas Hardy's short poem "At Lulworth Cove a Century Back" is a sort of ode to Keats, who apparently left England from near Lulworth Cove on his way to Rome: "Good. That man goes to Rome — to ...
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557 views

Was Hardy's “A Few Crusted Characters” based directly on the Canterbury Tales?

I've just been reading Thomas Hardy's A Few Crusted Characters (full text available online), which is essentially a collection of short stories or vignettes loosely bound together by a framing story. ...
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355 views

What does “I'll be D.D. before I have done!” mean?

I was reading Jude the Obscure, and I came across this line in Part First, VI: "...I must save money, and I will; and one of those colleges shall open its doors to me—shall welcome whom now ...
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Was Thomas Hardy expressing his own religious intolerance or commenting on the general anti-Semitic sentiment of the time?

While reading Jude the Obscure, I came across this bit in Part First, chapter 3: People said that, if you prayed, things sometimes came to you, even though they sometimes did not. He had read in a ...
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143 views

What does 'you med ask' mean, from “Jude the Obscure”?

In part first, II, I see this line: "And who's he?" asked one, comparatively a stranger, when the boy entered. "Well, ye med ask it, Mrs. Williams. He's my great-nephew—come since you was ...
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Why does my copy of “Jude the Obscure” use 'part first' instead of 'first part' or something like that?

I recently procured a copy of Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy. Upon opening it, something struck me as odd: It says 'part first' instead of 'first part' or 'part one'. I've never seen this before, ...
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506 views

What does the fate of the old church tell us in “Jude the Obscure”?

In the first chapter of Jude the Obscure, we see this line about the old church being taken down and replaced, and the old church being broken up and used for different things: Above all, the ...
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208 views

Who's this 'certain obliterator of historic records' in “Jude the Obscure”?

In the first chapter of Jude the Obscure, we see this line: Above all, the original church, hump-backed, wood-turreted, and quaintly hipped, had been taken down, and either cracked up into heaps of ...
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178 views

What makes the writing style of The Dynasts so distinctive?

Reading Poetry Foundation's page on Thomas Hardy, I came across this description of his epic drama The Dynasts, set during the Napoleonic Wars and published in 1904-1908: Hardy also pioneered a new ...
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162 views

Comparison of the portrayal of the female role in society between Jane Eyre and Tess?

I really can't get the differences of the female role in society and how they are seen by their families and by the society in general. How can we compare the portrayal of the female role in society ...
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232 views

Scanning the line “And every spirit upon earth” in Thomas Hardy's “The Darkling Thrush”

In the Thomas Hardy poem "The Darkling Thrush", one line seems to scan quite jarringly compared to the even iambic meter of the others: The land's sharp features seemed to me The Century's corpse ...
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228 views

Why did Thomas Hardy fictionalise the place names in his Wessex?

Most or all of Thomas Hardy's novels are set in the region of "Wessex", which (as defined by him) covers a vast swathe of England, as you can see from the map provided in this answer: Notable towns ...
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380 views

Did Thomas Hardy's books get more miserable with time, and was this because of his own life?

Thomas Hardy is best known for his tragic romances, novels which are really miserable and depressing to read. However, not all of them are equally so: Far From the Madding Crowd, one of his first ...
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959 views

What's the significance of Liza-Lu?

In Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles, the character Liza-Lu (Tess's sister) plays a very minor background role throughout most of the novel, until near the very end when Tess says she wants ...
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Should there be a trochee in the second to last line of Thomas Hardy's “The Oxen”?

I'm working through the website For Better for Verse, and I'm currently working on a scansion of Thomas Hardy's "The Oxen". The last verse looks like this: "In the lonely barton by yonder comb ...
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503 views

What view of marriage is presented in Jude the Obscure?

Thomas Hardy's gut-wrenching tragedy Jude the Obscure includes a lot of discussion of the concept of marriage, from various different characters, some of whose views even change over the course of the ...
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363 views

Was Tess raped?

The first part of Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles ends on an extremely dark and sinister note: Alec d'Urberville successfully gets Tess on her own in the middle of nowhere, and they end up ...
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What justifies the anti-Tess interpretation of “Tess of the d'Urbervilles”?

Upon its publication, Thomas Hardy's novel Tess of the d'Urbervilles inspired much debate as to whether Tess should be perceived as an innocent young woman thrust too early into the cruel world of men ...
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Is there a canonical map of Thomas Hardy's Wessex?

Most if not all of Thomas Hardy's novels are set in the fictional(ish) English region of Wessex. He uses many real towns and locations as settings, but gives them fictional names: for instance, Oxford ...