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Thomas Hardy

Born on 2 June, 1840, Thomas Hardy is often regarded as one of England's most influential poets and novelists. His best-known works include Far From the Madding Crowd and Tess of the d'Urbervilles.

He is also the creator of the semi-fictional region of Wessex. Many of his books focus on tragic characters and their role in society. He died on 11 January, 1928.



Thomas Hardy Books

  • AEECK
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    'I cannot allow any man to - to criticise my private conduct!' she exclaimed. 'Nor will I for a minute'. Hardy's powerful novel of swift sexual passion and slow-burning loyalty centres on Bathsheba Everdene, a proud working woman whose life is complicated by three different men - respectable farmer Boldwood, seductive Sergeant Troy and devoted Gabriel - making her the object of scandal and betrayal. Vividly portraying the superstitions and traditions of a small rural community, "Far from the Madding Crowd" shows the precarious position of a woman in a man's world. The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.
  • AFJSU
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    "I would be content, ay, glad, to live with you as your servant, if I may not as your wife; so that I could only be near you, and get glimpses of you, and think of you as mine...I long for only one thing in heaven or earth or under the earth, to meet you, my own dear! Come to me - come to me, and save me from what threatens me"! When Tess Durbeyfield is driven by family poverty to claim kinship with the wealthy D'Urbervilles and seek a portion of their family fortune, meeting her 'cousin' Alec proves to be her downfall. A very different man, Angel Clare, seems to offer her love and salvation, but Tess must choose whether to reveal her past or remain silent in the hope of a peaceful future. With its sensitive depiction of the wronged Tess and powerful criticism of social convention, "Tess of the D'Urbervilles" is one of the most moving and poetic of Hardy's novels. The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.
  • ATOJX
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    Introduction and Notes by Michael Irwin, Professor of English Literature, University of Kent at Canterbury. Wessex Tales was the first collection of Hardy's short stories, and they reflect the experience of a novelist at the height of his powers. These seven tales, in which characters and scenes are imbued with a haunting realism, show considerable diversity of content, form and style, and range from fantasy to realism and from tragedy to comedy. In insisting on the unusual nature of any story worth the telling, and with his gift for irony and compassion, Hardy achieves more in the genre of the short story than any English novelist before him.
  • BJCVZ
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    Part of Penguin's beautiful hardback Clothbound Classics series, designed by the award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith, these delectable and collectible editions are bound in high-quality colourful, tactile cloth with foil stamped into the design. When Tess Durbeyfield is driven by family poverty to claim kinship with the wealthy D'Urbervilles and seek a portion of their family fortune, meeting her 'cousin' Alec proves to be her downfall. A very different man, Angel Clare, seems to offer her love and salvation, but Tess must choose whether to reveal her past or remain silent in the hope of a peaceful future. With its sensitive depiction of the wronged Tess and powerful criticism of social convention, Tess of the D'Urbervilles is one of the most moving and poetic of Hardy's novels.
  • BFOTP
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    HarperCollins is pround to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. 'My life looks as if it had been wasted for want of chances! When I see what you know, what you have read, and seen, and thought, I feel what a nothing I am!' Challenging the hypocrisy and social conventions of the rural Victorian world, Tess of the D'Urbervilles follows the story of Tess Durbeyfield as she attempts to escape the poverty of her background, seeking wealth by claiming connection with the aristocratic D'Urberville family. It is through Tess's relationships with two very different men that Hardy tells the story of his tragic heroine, and exposes the double standards of the world that she inhabits with searing pathos and heart-rending sentiment.
  • TDU2 12 years +
    12 years +
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    Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles follows the starving Durbeyfields as they discover they have a connection to a wealthy family.

    They send their beautiful daughter Tess to the d'Urbervill mansion to claim kinship and restore their fortunes. But will she be able to convince her handsome 'cousin' Alec to help her?
  • ADBRK
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    Independent and spirited Bathsheba Everdene has come to Weatherbury to take up her position as a farmer on the largest estate in the area. Her bold presence draws three very different suitors: the gentleman-farmer Boldwood, soldier-seducer Sergeant Troy and the devoted shepherd Gabriel Oak. Each, in contrasting ways, unsettles her decisions and complicates her life, and tragedy ensues, threatening the stability of the whole community. The first of his works set in Wessex, Hardy's novel of swift passion and slow courtship is imbued with his evocative descriptions of rural life and landscapes, and with unflinching honesty about sexual relationships.
  • ADCUI
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    Jude Fawley, the stonemason excluded not by his wits but by poverty from the world of Christminster privilege, finds fulfilment in his relationship with Sue Bridehead. Both have left earlier marriages. Ironically, when tragedy tests their union it is Sue, the modern emancipated woman, who proves unequal to the challenge. Hardy's fearless exploration of sexual and social relationships and his prophetic critique of marriage scandalised the late Victorian establishment and marked the end of his career as a novelist.
  • AHUJJ
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    Part of Penguin's beautiful hardback Clothbound Classics series, designed by the award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith, these delectable and collectible editions are bound in high-quality colourful, tactile cloth with foil stamped into the design. Independent and spirited Bathsheba Everdene has come to Weatherbury to take up her position as a farmer on the largest estate in the area. Her bold presence draws three very different suitors: the gentleman-farmer Boldwood, soldier-seducer Sergeant Troy and the devoted shepherd Gabriel Oak. Each, in contrasting ways, unsettles her decisions and complicates her life, and tragedy ensues, threatening the stability of the whole community. The first of his works set in Wessex, Hardy's novel of swiftpassion and slow courtship is imbued with his evocative descriptions of rural life and landscapes, and with unflinching honesty about sexual relationships.
  • AZVIU
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    'Woman much missed, how you call to me, call to me...' After the death of his wife Emma, a grief-stricken Hardy wrote some of the best verse of his career. Moving and evocative, it ranks among the greatest elegiac poetry in the language. Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th-century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions. Thomas Hardy (1840-1928). Hardy's works available in Penguin Classics are A Laodicean, A Pair of Blue Eyes, Desperate Remedies, Far from the Madding Crowd, Jude the Obscure, Selected Poems, Tess of the d'Urbervilles, The Distracted Preacher and Other Tales, The Fiddler of the Reels and Other Stories, The Hand of Ethelberta, The Mayor of Casterbridge, The Pursuit of the Well-beloved and The Well-beloved, The Return of the Native, The Trumpet-Major, The Withered Arm and Other Stories, The Woodlanders, Two on a Tower and Under the Greenwood Tree.
  • ATOMM
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    Introduction and Notes by Dr Claire Seymour, University of Kent at Canterbury. The proverbial phrase 'life's little ironies' was coined by Hardy for his third volume of short stories. These tales and sketches possess all the power of his novels: the wealth of description, the realistic portrayal of the quaint lore of Wessex, the 'Chaucerian' humour and characterisation, the shrewd and critical psychology, the poignant estimate of human nature and the brooding sense of wonder at the essential mystery of life. The tales which make up Life's Little Ironies tenderly re-create a rapidly vanishing rural world and scrutinise the repressions of fin-de-siecle bourgeois life. They share the many concerns of Hardy's last great novels, such as the failure of modern marriage and the insidious effects of social ambition on the family and community life. Ranging widely in length and complexity, they are unified by Hardy's quintessential irony, which embraces both the farcical and the tragic aspects of human existence.
  • BDQAQ
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    Bathsheba Everdene is a headstrong young woman who attracts the attentions of a succession of ill-matched suitors: a quiet sheep farmer, a handsome soldier and an older, wealthy landowner. As the men vie for her affections, she struggles to retain her independence of spirit in the face of their declarations. Introducing readers to the fictional county of Wessex, Thomas Hardy's fourth work of fiction was one of his greatest triumphs, both commercially and critically. Its tale of passion, jealousy and unrequited love is now regarded as one of the finest novels of the nineteenth century, and one of the greatest love stories of all time.
  • AADZM
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    When Tess Durbeyfield is driven by family poverty to claim kinship with the wealthy D'Urbervilles and seek a portion of their family fortune, meeting her 'cousin' Alec proves to be her downfall. A very different man, Angel Clare, seems to offer her love and salvation, but Tess must choose whether to reveal her past or remain silent in the hope of a peaceful future. With its sensitive depiction of the wronged Tess and powerful criticism of social convention, Tess of the D'Urbervilles is one of the most moving and poetic of Hardy's novels.
  • ATOKG
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    With an Introduction, Notes and Bibliography by Michael Irwin, Emeritus Professor of English, University of Kent, Canterbury. The young Thomas Hardy, working as an architect, but fired with literary ambition, tried for years to get into print. He finally succeeded with Desperate Remedies, a 'sensation novel' in the mode of Wilkie Collins. Here was a racy specimen of the genre, replete with sudden death, dark mysteries, intriguing clues, fire and storm, flight and pursuit. Anyone who enjoys The Woman in White is likely to enjoy Desperate Remedies. But that is only half the story. Hardy contrived also, in this unlikely context, to give a first airing to various of the ideas and technical experiments which were to characterise his later fiction. The result is an exhilaratingly uneven work: at any point in the narrative some brilliant passage of description or metaphor may burst out like a firework. Desperate Remedies can be relished both for what it is and for what it promises.
  • ADCUU
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    The arrival of two newcomers in the quiet village of Mellstock arouses a bitter feud and leaves a convoluted love affair in its wake. While the Reverend Maybold creates a furore among the village's musicians with his decision to abolish the church's traditional 'string choir' and replace it with a modern mechanical organ, the new schoolteacher, Fancy Day, causes an upheaval of a more romantic nature, winning the hearts of three very different men - a local farmer, a church musician and Maybold himself. "Under the Greenwood Tree" follows the ensuing maze of intrigue and passion with gentle humour and sympathy, deftly evoking the richness of village life, yet tinged with melancholy for a rural world that Hardy saw fast disappearing.
  • AHHNJ
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    York Notes Advanced offer a fresh and accessible approach to English Literature. This market-leading series has been completely updated to meet the needs of today's A-level and undergraduate students. Written by established literature experts, York Notes Advanced intorduce students to more sophisticated analysis, a range of critical perspectives and wider contexts.
  • ADCVG
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    This work is a new selection of Hardy's love poems. Thomas Hardy is one of the sacred figures in English writing, a novelist with a world reputation, but above all a great poet.
  • AZTKS
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    'Woman much missed, how you call to me, call to me...' After the death of his wife Emma, a grief-stricken Hardy wrote some of the best verse of his career. Moving and evocative, it ranks among the greatest elegiac poetry in the language. Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th-century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions. Thomas Hardy (1840-1928). Hardy's works available in Penguin Classics are A Laodicean, A Pair of Blue Eyes, Desperate Remedies, Far from the Madding Crowd, Jude the Obscure, Selected Poems, Tess of the d'Urbervilles, The Distracted Preacher and Other Tales, The Fiddler of the Reels and Other Stories, The Hand of Ethelberta, The Mayor of Casterbridge, The Pursuit of the Well-beloved and The Well-beloved, The Return of the Native, The Trumpet-Major, The Withered Arm and Other Stories, The Woodlanders, Two on a Tower and Under the Greenwood Tree.
  • ADCJR
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    When country-girl Grace Melbury returns home from her middle-class school she feels she has risen above her suitor, the simple woodsman Giles Winterborne. Though marriage had been discussed between her and Giles, Grace finds herself captivated by Dr. Edred Fitzpiers, a sophisticated newcomer to the area - a relationship that is encouraged by her socially ambitious father. Hardy's novel of betrayal, disillusionment and moral compromise depicts a secluded community coming to terms with the disastrous impact of outside influences. And in his portrayal of Giles Winterborne, Hardy shows a man who responds deeply to the forces of the natural world, thought they ultimately betray him.
  • AETXN
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    'Here - I am waiting to know about this offer of mine. The woman is no good to me. Who'll have her?' In a fit of drunken anger, Michael Henchard sells his wife and baby daughter for five guineas at a country fair. Over the course of the following years, he manages to establish himself as a respected and prosperous pillar of the community of Casterbridge, but behind his success there always lurk the shameful secret of his past and a personality prone to self-destructive pride and temper. The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.
  • AEOHF
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    This is the "Penguin English Library Edition" of "Two on a Tower" by Thomas Hardy. 'Then they proceeded to scan the sky, roving from planet to star, from single stars to double stars, from double to coloured stars...'. Hardy's atmospheric, moving story of star-crossed lovers shows human beings at the mercy of forces far beyond their control, setting a tragic drama of human passion and conflict against a background of vast stellar space and scientific discovery. "Two on a Tower" tells the story of Lady Constantine, who breaks all the rules of decorum when she falls in love with the beautiful youth Swithin St Cleeve, her social inferior and ten years her junior. Together, in an ancient monument converted into an astronomical observation tower, they create their own private universe - until the pressures of the outside world threaten to destroy it. "The Penguin English Library" contains 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.
  • AYXPJ
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    A selection of the writer's greatest nature poetry, selected by Tom Paulin, published in a beautiful new edition by Faber. At once a voice arose among The bleak twigs overhead In a full-hearted evensong Of joy illimited; An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small, In blast-beruffled plume, Had chosen thus to fling his soul Upon the growing gloom ...The Darkling Thrush?
  • BBCQB
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    Thomas Hardy saw himself, first and foremost, as a poet, and he wrote poetry throughout his prolific and acclaimed novel-writing years before announcing in 1896 that he would no longer write novels, much to the astonishment of his worldwide readership. Instead he went on to publish eight masterful volumes of poetry - ranging from lyrics and ballads to dramatic monologues and satire - and is now regarded as one of the greatest twentieth-century poets. Choosing the best verse from each volume, the Poems of Thomas Hardy is the perfect introduction to Hardy's lyrical, soul-searching and profoundly sincere poetry, covering subjects ranging from his grief at the death of his first wife to his experiences of war. This beautiful Macmillan Collector's Library edition is edited and introduced by editor Ned Halley. Designed to appeal to the booklover, the Macmillan Collector's Library is a series of beautiful gift editions of much loved classic titles. Macmillan Collector's Library are books to love and treasure.
  • BEOWZ
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    Tess is an innocent young girl until the day she goes to visit her rich 'relatives', the D'Urbervilles. Her encounter with her manipulative cousin, Alec, leads her onto a path that is beset with suffering and betrayal. When she falls in love with another man, Angel Clare, Tess sees a potential escape from her past, but only if she can tell him her shameful secret..."Gloriously physical, full of passion and irony, humour and tenderness." (Anne Michaels).