'Meticulously researched and lucidly written, this volume will likely become and remain the definitive study of the history of works Hardy adapted for the stage and of the Hardy Players who, in the main, performed them.' - John J. Conlon, English Literature in Transition 'Much new research informs this first full-length study of Hardy's involvement in stage productions based on his own works. The result is a closely reasoned account of the conflict between his desire to see his plots and characters brought to the stage, and his awareness of the attending difficulties.' - M.S. Vogeler, Choice Despite Hardy's lifelong interest in the theatre, this is the first comprehensive study of all aspects of his involvement with the stage, the only area of his literary activities left substantially unexplored. It discusses his own experiments at crafting scenarios and plays, all productions, both amateur and professional, with which he had any involvement, and his troubled negotiations with adapters, producers, and actors. It is fascinating for what it reveals about both the artist and the man, and offers particular insight into the paradoxical connections between the retiring Dorchester celebrity and the international man of letters.
Acknowledgements - Introduction - Thomas Hardy and the Theatre - Hardy's Experiments in Adaptation - The Hardy Players: The Evans Years - The Dynasts Adapted: London, Dorset and Oxford - The Hardy Players: The Tilley Years - Tess on Stage: Dorchester and London - Epilogue - Notes - Bibliography - Index