Amazing Authors: Thomas Hardy

If you didn't know already, I have found out that I am quite into reading and watching a lot of sad stuff. There's just something about it that I find fascinating, especially when it comes to humans and how they deal with it. And who has a reputation for writing some really depressing literature? Thomas Hardy.

Born/died: 02.06.1840 - 11.01.1928
Nationality: British
Genre: Fiction, Romance
Most Notable Work:
- Tess of the D'Urbervilles
- Far From the Madding Crowd

Along with Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë, Thomas Hardy is one of my favorite classical authors. It's only this last year that I first read his books; the first one I read was Tess of the D'Urbervilles, closely followed by Far From The Madding Crowd, both of which I love.

Hardy's books are at times impossibly sad, especially the story of Tess. It deals with themes of religion, class, marriage and education and how these things limit us and how it affect our happiness. There's also an element of randomness, how things sometimes simply just happen, and how it can send characters tumbling.

I also thoroughly enjoy some of Hardy's poetry, which come in a great variety of styles. These also deal a lot with disappointment, sadness and regret.

It sure does sound like all of this is bathed in depression, but that's what makes the happy points in his stories so wonderful.

It's because of authors like Hardy that I continue to read classics, because there's something universal to them; the human struggle is still the human struggle, despite what age you're in. It's always helps though, that it's set to the background of Victorian England, so he has that going for him as well.

Books I've Read

Books I Want To Read
Jude the Obscure is probably the one I'll read next, then The Woodlanders.

The Book To Start With

I would recommend starting with Far From the Madding Crowd, simply because I think it's the book that most people will enjoy and probably my favorite. It's the story of the very independent Batsheba Everdene, who inherits a large estate and whose life is complicated by three very different men. It's a wonderful story that offers many great and fascinating characters, all set to the backdrop of the English countryside.

(I would also recommend Tess of the D'Urbervilles, but it's much heavier on the sadness and especially religious themes. It deals a lot with with guilt and innocence, and I think it's a book that might not be for everyone. It's wonderful, in my opinion, but a bit more dull.)

The movie adaptation for Far From The Madding Crowd was also recently released, which I thoroughly enjoyed (I have written a Page vs. Screen on this, if you wish to read more about it).

Let me know if you've read anything by Hardy, or which book you want to read if you haven't!


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