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Questions tagged [thomas-hardy]

Questions about the works of Thomas Hardy (1840–1928), English novelist and poet, or his life as a writer. His novels include "Far From the Madding Crowd" (1874), "The Mayor of Casterbridge" (1886) and "Tess of the d'Urbervilles" (1891).

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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: ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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20 votes
1 answer
2k views

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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15 votes
3 answers
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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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10 votes
1 answer
782 views

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 ...
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16 votes
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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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8 votes
3 answers
4k 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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7 votes
2 answers
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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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5 votes
1 answer
758 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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5 votes
1 answer
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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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5 votes
1 answer
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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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