Each of Thomas Hardy's novels is filled with striking visual images -- characters, interior settings, buildings, village scenes, and open tracts of land. These images are all rendered with a vitality and energy immediately recognizable as Hardy's own. In fact, Hardy, whose style owed much to his abilities as a draughtsman, once remarked that he saw his narratives as a series of images. J. B. Bullen explores this fascinating link between the image and the idea in the fiction of Thomas Hardy, and demonstrates how Hardy approached his work from a particular "point of view" which not only determined the lighting, composition, and structure of his literary visual effects, but which also allowed him to express emotions and ideas in the direct, "vividly visible" fashion that is the hallmark of his greatest fiction.
'The book is thoughtful, deeply researched, and gives new weight to Hardy's assertion that his novels were, like contemporary French paintings, 'impressions'.' Merryn Williams
'Bullen's study has a richness that enlarges our understanding of the art of Thomas Hardy.' Arlene Jackson The Powys Review
'Bullen has command over a wide range of historical, cultural and aesthetic references, and he brings them most intelligently to bear on the fabric of Hardy's fiction. This book is of the first importance in Hardy studies, a pleasure to read and a stimulus to all sorts of further enquiry.' The Review of English Studies