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Thomas Hardy was an English novelist and poet who was born in Upper Bockhampton, a village to the east of Dorchester in Dorset, England, in 1840 on June 2. His father Thomas (d.1892) worked as a stonemason(каменщик) and local builder. His mother Jemima (d.1904) was well-read. She educated Thomas until he went to his first school at Bockhampton at age 8.
For several years he attended Mr. Last's Academy for Young Gentlemen in Dorchester. Here he learned Latin and demonstrated academic potential. However, a family of Hardy's social position lacked the means for a university education, and his formal education ended at the age of sixteen when he became an apprentice of James Hicks, a local architect. Hardy trained as an architect in Dorchester before moving to London in 1862.
In London he became a student at King's College. He won prizes from the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Architectural Association. Hardy was in charge of the excavation (раскопки) of the graveyard of St Pancras Old Church. Hardy never felt at home in London. He was acutely (резко) conscious of class divisions and his social inferiority. However, he was interested in social reforms. Five years later, concerned about his health, he returned to Dorset and decided to dedicate himself to writing.
In 1870, while on an architectural mission to restore the parish church of St Juliot in Cornwall, Hardy met and fell in love with Emma Lavinia Gifford, whom he married in 1874. Although they later became estranged (раздельно проживающий), her death in 1912 had a traumatic effect on him. After her death, Hardy made a trip to Cornwall to revisit places linked with their courtship, and his Poems 1912–13 reflect upon her death.
Hardy's first novel, The Poor Man and the Lady, finished by 1867, failed to find a publisher. He showed the novel to his mentor (наставник) and friend, the Victorian poet and novelist, George Meredith who felt that this book would be too politically controversial and might damage Hardy's ability to publish in the future. So Hardy followed his advice and gave up on trying to publish it. Later, he destroyed the manuscript so that no copies of it exist today.
Under the Greenwood Tree or The Mellstock Quire: A Rural Painting of the Dutch School was published anonymously in 1872. It was Hardy's second published novel, the last to be printed without his name, and the first of his great series of Wessex novels. While Hardy originally thought of simply calling it The Mellstock Quire, he settled on a title taken from a song in Shakespeare's As You Like It (Act II, Scene V).
The Hardys moved from London to Yeovil and then to Sturminster Newton, where he wrote The Return of the Native (1878). In 1885, they moved for the last time, to Max Gate, a house outside Dorchester designed by Hardy and built by his brother. There he wrote The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886), The Woodlanders (1887), and Tess of the d'Urbervilles (1891).
While traveling to the island of Jersey on business, Henchard falls in love with a young woman named Lucetta. Because of their relationships Lucetta's reputation is ruined. In order to rejoin polite society she must marry him, but there is a problem: Susan unexpectedly appears in Casterbridge with her daughter, Elizabeth-Jane. Susan and Elizabeth-Jane are both very poor. Newson have been lost at sea. A tidy Scotsman, Donald Farfrae, is passing through on his way to America. But he becomes friend with Henchard and helps him out of a bad financial situation.
In 1921 a silent film The Mayor of Casterbridge was directed by Sidney Morgan. In 1951 the novel was adapted as an opera by the British composer Peter Tranchell. A version of the story was also filmed in 2000 as The Claim, with the setting changed to a town in the American West. In 2008 Helen Edmundson adapted it into a three-episode radio play for BBC Radio.
The novel was first published in 1891. It initially appeared in a censored and serialised version, published by the British illustrated newspaper, The Graphic. The original manuscript is on display at the British Library, showing that it was originally titled as "Daughter of the d'Urbervilles."
The book is the last of Thomas Hardy's novels. It began as a magazine serial and was first published in book form in 1895. Its character, Jude Fawley, is a working-class young man who dreams of becoming a scholar. The other main character is his cousin, Sue Bridehead, who is also his central love interest. The themes in the novel revolve around issues of class, education, religion and marriage. It was met with stronger negative outcries from the Victorian public for its frank treatment of sex, and was often referred to as "Jude the Obscene“ (неприличный). The book was burned publicly by William Walsham How, Bishop of Wakefield.
After a great amount of negative criticism erupted from the publication of his novel Jude The Obscure, Hardy decided to give up writing novels permanently and to focus his literary efforts on writing poetry. In 1898 Hardy published his first volume of poetry, Wessex Poems, a collection of poems written over 30 years. After giving up the novel form, Hardy continued to publish poetry collections until his death in 1928. His verse had a profound influence on later writers, especially Philip Larkin, who included many of Hardy's poems in the edition of the Oxford Book of Twentieth Century English Verse that Larkin edited in 1973.
Most of Hardy's poems, such as "Neutral Tones'" and "A Broken Appointment", deal with themes of disappointment in love and life, and mankind's long struggle against indifference to human suffering. Using stylistic patterns similar to those that he used in his novels, Hardy sometimes wrote ironic poems, like "Ah, Are You Digging on My Grave". Some, like "The Darkling Thrush" and "An August Midnight", appear as poems about writing poetry, because the nature mentioned in them gives Hardy the inspiration to write. A particularly strong theme in the Wessex Poems is the long shadow that the Napoleonic Wars cast over the nineteenth century, for example, in "The Sergeant's Song" and "Leipzig".
Hardy became ill with pleurisy (плеврит) in December 1927 and died at Max Gate on 11 January 1928 His funeral was on 16 January at Westminster Abbey, and it proved a controversial occasion because Hardy and his family and friends had wished for his body to be interred (хоронить) at Stinsford in the same grave as his first wife, Emma. However, his executor, Sir Sydney Carlyle Cockerell, insisted that he should be placed in the Abbey's famous Poets' Corner. A compromise was reached whereby his heart was buried at Stinsford with Emma, and his ashes in Poets' Corner..
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