The opening section of this seventh and final volume of the definitive edition of Thomas Hardy's letters covers the period from January 1926 to December 1927: his last letter, to Edmund Gosse, was written on Christmas Day 1927 and he died seventeen days later, on 11 January 1928. Although few of his long-standing personal correspondences were actively kept up during these last two years of his life, Hardy maintained (especially when writing to Sir Frederick
Macmillan) a lively and practical interest in all aspects of his work and career; he also responded, usually with a courteous refusal, to the many requests and enquiries that his fame inevitably attracted. The
second section is devoted to letters which became available too late for publication in their correct chronological sequence in earlier volumes of the edition; those now added date mostly from the nineteenth century, and include a series of letters to officials of the Duchy of Cornwall about the purchase of land on which Max Gate was built, as well as numerous individual letters of considerable interest and importance. This volume contains more than 350 letters, the great
majority of them previously unpublished, which are supplemented, as before, by scrupulous annotation and extensive cross-referencing; by a chronology covering the whole of Hardy's career; and by an
index of recipients of the letters included. As the concluding volume, however, it also incorporates an extensive General Index covering the texts and annotations of the entire edition.
'The editing is exemplary throughout and there is a good deal of pleasure to be had from the footnotes.'
John Gross, The Sunday Telegraph
'A valuable undertaking is concluded, and the footnotes, frequently longer than the letters themselves, are informative as ever ... Goode clearly loves Hardy's work and knows it intimately; his readings of the various texts are percipient, intelligent and close'
Glen Cavaliero, Times Literary Supplement
'admiration of the high editorial standards is blended with amazement at the speed with which the project has reached completion'
Norman Page, London Review of Books
'Seen in their completed form the seven volumes must be hailed as a towering achievement. The editors have imposed a rigorous discipline on their task and, in so doing, have set a standard which is all the more admirable at a time when so much publishing looks for easier options and short cuts.'
Desmond Hawkins, Contemporary Review
'what an excellent edition this is - accurate, thorough, and invariably helpful to students at all levels ... Hardy scholarship can never be the same again.'
Merryn Williams, Notes and Queries
'Difficult to overpraise Millgate and Purdy for the scrupulous perfection with which they have carried through their editorial task.'
Times Educational Supplement
'it is so well organized ... There is no doubt that this is an edition for all time.'
Simon Gatrell, University of Georgia, Journal of English and Germanic Philology
`The publication of the letters, edited by Professor >millgate for the Oxford University Press, has been greeted as an academic landmark.'
The Sunday Times
Letters 1926-1927. Additional letters. Undated letters and fragments. Corrections and amplifications.