Thomas Hardy OM

English novelist and poet Thomas Hardy, OM was born 2nd June 184. He was known for being a Victorian realist, in the tradition of George Eliot, and was also influenced both in his novels and poetry by Romanticism, especially by William Wordsworth. Charles Dickens is another important influence on Thomas Hardy. Like Dickens, he was also highly critical of much in Victorian society, though Hardy focused more on a declining rural society.While Hardy wrote poetry throughout his life, and regarded himself primarily as a poet, his first collection was not published until 1898.

Initially he gained fame as the author of such novels as Far from the Madding Crowd (1874), The Mayor of Casterbridge(1886), Tess of the d’Urbervilles (1891), and Jude the Obscure (1895). However, since the 1950s Hardy has been recognized as a major poet, and had a significant influence on The Movement poets of the 1950s and 1960s, including Phillip Larkin. The bulk of his fictional works, initially published as serials in magazines, were set in the semi-fictional region of Wessex and explored tragic characters struggling against their passions and social circumstances. Hardy’s Wessex is based on the medieval Anglo-Saxon kingdom and eventually came to include the counties of Dorset, Wiltshire, Somerset, Devon, Hampshire and much of Berkshire, in south west England. Hardy sadly passed away on 11th Janaury 1928.

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