Thomas Hardy was a renowned English novelist born on 2ND June, 1840. He was one of the classic writers of all times. His work is revered even today and is read worldwide. He spent most of his childhood where he gained immense knowledge of culture and his roots. He credits his upliftment and success to his mother who was the guiding light of his life. He had an apprentice in architecture in London but his heart and soul lies in poetry and loved weaving stories through verses and words. Dorset specifically aided him in writing down his reveries. Many of his characters are rustic and resonated with Dorset’s aura. Hardy’s works are intellectual and meticulous to read and ponder upon.
There’s a mysterious story about the death and burial of Hardy’s body. Hardy immensely wished that he should be buried at Stinsford. However, after his death his burial was questioned and few authorities emphasized on the fact that his body should be buried near Poet’s corner. But his second wife, Florence was adamant on fulfilling his late husband’s wish. Later, after contemplations, it was decided that his heart would be buried at Stinsford and ashes in the Abbeys.
Here, I am, recommending some of the best works by him which are read even today and deserve all the recognition and praise.
Tess of the d’ Urbervilles (1891)
This book staunchly represents women’s status in 19th century. It is a feel-good book which is beautifully composed. There are moments when it may turn bleak and heart breaking but eventually, you’d love it. There are various controversies presented of those time and Hardy has been successful to etch the correct essence. This novel talks about the aspect of timing and how it is important in everyone’s lives. It is one of the classics and you as a literature devotee should definitely.
Get your copy of Tess of the d’ Urbervilles here.
Far from Madding Crowd
Bathsheba, the lady protagonist is portrayed fiercely sweeping us all from our feet. This book is little orthodox in nature but the intense ending and strong dialogues hold us on our seats till we don’t complete it. The emotions are subtly passed on but we can relate to it. Hardy’s books are precious and this one tops the list in it. The characterization in this book is perfect and the storyline is gripping too. You would regret missing out on this one.
Get your copy of Far from Madding Crowd here.
The Mayor of Casterbridge
This novel is a beauty; sheer beauty. This book is so well constructed that all the readers are left in the awe of it. The craft is well presented and the storyline is one of a kind. The language is understandable and has no loose ends. I personally worship this book for its perfection. Hardy has once again proved that he and his work are different and unique. He wins us over through his impeccable verses and strong story building.
Get your copy of The Mayor of Casterbridge here.
The Well Beloved
This was one of the remarkable novels in Thomas’s journey. It gave a totally different perspective to the notion of love and reading this book would make you experience that kind of love too. He has very well explored human nature and societal expectations. The setting of the novel is great and the language is pretty understandable too. It is spooky in a way (no spoilers).
Discover more books by Thomas Hardy here.
The Return of the Native
This one is a radical book perfectly resonating with the thinking pattern of that era. This book discusses the harms of misunderstandings and presumptions. It can lead to a havoc you would not even realise. This book is a blessing and would keep you hooked throughout. It is crafted according to the atmosphere of that era and is a delightful read.
Get your copy of The Return of the Native here.
Jude the Obscure
Jude the Obscure runs parallel to Hardy’s life and critics consider Jude Fawley as his own reflection. When it was published, critics scrutinized it for a plethora of moral reasons. This led Hardy to quit writing novels. Some prominent themes were religion, education, incest and marriage. He turned to poetry after calling Jude the Obscure his last novel. His most famous collection of poems is Wessex Poems.
Get your copy of Jude the Obscure here.
Thomas Hardy was gem of a writer and his books had the power of spreading wisdom and literary knowledge. One should atleast read one of Hardy’s works to understand him and the world of his time. He lived his era through his books and meticulously pointed everything happening around him in the pages of his novels. He is worshipped even today by literature devotees
Hope you all like my recommendations. Try reading him next, you’d fall more in love with literature.
- Prapti Shah
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