Thomas Hardy saw himself primarily as a poet claiming that his extraordinary novel-writing career was due to financial expediency. From 1871-1897 he wrote fourteen novels and three collections of short stories. During the second half of his writing career he published eight volumes of poetry, a further collection of short stories, two dramas and a book for children.
He was born on 2nd June 1840 in the small rural hamlet of Higher Bockhampton situated in the parish of Stinsford, Dorset. As the son of a stonemason and a servant girl, who later joined the ranks of distinguished men of letters, Hardy was acutely conscious of his humble class origins and modest education. This sensitivity to social rank and privilege …
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Thomas, Jane. "Thomas Hardy". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 July 2001
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=5091, accessed 26 May 2017.]