HARDY AS NOVELIST
The books are arranged in Hardy’s own groupings. Might I suggest that we concentrate upon the works that are underlined?
(i) Novels of Character and Environment
Under the Greenwood Tree (1872)
Far from the Madding Crowd (1874)
The Return of the Native (1878)
The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886)
The Woodlanders (1887)
Tess of the D’Urbevilles (1891)
Life’s Little Ironies (1894)
Jude the Obscure (1896)
(ii) Romances and Fantasies
A Pair of Blue Eyes (1873)
The Trumpet Major (1880)
Two on a Tower (1891)
A Group of Noble Dames (1891)
The Well-Beloved (1892; 1897)
(iii) Novels of Ingenuity
Desperate Remedies (1871)
The Hand of Ethelberta (1876)
A Laodicean (1881).
2. SECONDARY READING.
Hardy’s own account of his life, written in the name of his second wife, is an important document: The Life of Thomas Hardy (1928). Michael Millgate has re-edited the material as The Life and Work of Thomas Hardy by Thomas Hardy (1984); he is also the author of Thomas Hardy: A Biography (1982), probably the best modern biography, but the two volumes by Robert Gittings, Young Thomas Hardy (1975) and The Older Hardy (1978) are still worth a look. Harold Orel has usefully collected Hardy’s Personal Writings, including the prefaces to his novels and other critical writings.
David Cecil, Hardy the Novelist (1943).
John Holloway, Victorian Sage (1953).
John Holloway, The Chartered Mirror: Literary and Critical Essays (1960), pp.94-117.
Ian Gregor and Brian Nicholas, The Moral and the Story (1962): ‘The Novel as Moral Protest: Tess of the D’Urbevilles’, pp.123-50.
Michael Millgate, Thomas Hardy: His Career as a Novelist (1971).
Ian Gregor, The Great Web: The Form of Hardy’s Major Fiction (1974).
Laurence Lerner, Thomas Hardy’s The Mayor of Casterbridge: Tragedy or Social History (1975).
John Bayley, An Essay on Hardy (1978).
Philip Drew, The Meaning of Freedom (1982), pp.242-81.