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Home » Authors » Thomas Hardy

About Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy 1840-1928  was born in the hamlet of Higher Bockhampton in Dorset, England. His father was a stone-mason and his mother a domestic servant with a love for the rural landscape, romantic poetry and Latin. He was educated locally and then apprenticed in the county town of Dorchester, to the architect John Hicks who specialised in the restoration of medieval churches.

In 1862 Hardy moved to London, ostensibly to work for the architect Arthur Blomfield, but his wish to follow a literary career was beginning to surface and from 1865 he began to write poetry. His first novel The Poor and The Lady was published in 1867 and with the publication and success of Far from the Madding Crowd in 1874 he gave up architectural work to concentrate on his writing.

Thomas Hardy audio book downloads:

The Return of the Native Audiobook

The Return of the Native Audiobook
Written by Thomas Hardy
Read by Oliver Cotton

Eustacia Vye’s great desire in life was to be loved to madness, and in this, one of Hardy’s best loved novels, one of his most superb female characters conducts her wild and lethal campaign against her rival the innocent, rather conventional Thomasin against the back drop of Egdon Heath, the equally wild and lethal Dorset moorland on which Hardy grew up.

When Hardy first published the book, it was greeted with both acclaim and outrage, the response to the unfashionably shocking initial ending meant that Hardy was forced to add the sixth and last book to create the happy outcome that the public demanded for the characters he’d persuaded them to mind so much about. This being a book about desire, gratification and marvellous manipulation he did, however, naturally give them a happy ending on his own terms…!

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