Thomas Hardy in Maine

Thomas Hardy in Maine

Thomas Hardy in Maine

Thomas Hardy in Maine

Excerpt

Not long ago, a bundle of old magazines arrived in Waterville from a much-bombed section of London. In one of them there was an article on Thomas Hardy.1 A chance examination of the magazine led to these words: "Not a few famous writers have succeeded in annexing large tracts of English soil . . [but] . . no novelist or poet has created so definite, so intimate, an association with any portion of England as Hardy has established in the south-western corner. . . . The Hardy country is as much a part of the Hardy novels as the men and women whom Hardy's genius has summoned into life."

This is a universally recognized fact. To speak of Hardy, in the face of this fact, with no reference whatever to Wessex or to Egdon Heath may, at first thought, seem to indicate a strange indifference to the way he has identified himself with his native region. In associating him with Maine, however, I have Hardy's readers in mind; for on looking beyond the author to his readers, Hardy's links with England do . . .

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