This study of Thomas Hardy provides a substantial introduction to his six major novels and his poems. It deals more briefly with the minor fiction.
Hardy now seems a more important novelist and poet than at any previous time. This importance is only partly due to his capabilities as a social historian or provincial chronicler. Far more important than these is his faithful exploration of the daily trials and tragedies of men and women as feeling beings. Man and woman in love, man and woman 'up against it', are his theme.
Mr. Butler's study of his work emphasizes this central aspect of Hardy's fiction and poetry. His tendency to universalize his tragic material, in which he is akin to Shakespeare, is seen as his abiding achievement. Detailed analyses are made of some crucial passages in the major novels and a serious attempt is made to counter the proposition that Hardy 'wrote badly'. Some of his quirkier writing is looked at honestly, but the conclusion is that Hardy was a novelist who, above all, know what he was doing and did it well.
"...a welcome and overdue attempt to provide a comprehensive assessment of the creative achivevment of West Germany's only Nobel laureate...a well-researched, tightly edited and lucidly written book, which succeeds admirably in its aims." Frank Finlay, TLS
Series: British Authors, Introductory Critical Studies
Number Of Pages: 188
Published: 24th April 1978
Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIV PR
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.67 x 14.02
Weight (kg): 0.27