The Early Life of Thomas Hardy, 1840-1891

The Early Life of Thomas Hardy, 1840-1891

The Early Life of Thomas Hardy, 1840-1891

The Early Life of Thomas Hardy, 1840-1891

Excerpt

Mr. Hardy's feeling for a long time was that he would not care to have his life written at all. And though often asked to record his recollections he would say that he "had not sufficient admiration for himself" to do so. But later, having observed many erroneous and grotesque statements advanced as his experiences, and a so-called "Life" published as authoritative, his hand was forced, and he agreed to my strong request that the facts of his career should be set down for use in the event of its proving necessary to print them.

To this end he put on paper headings of chapters, etc., and, in especial, memories of his early days whenever they came into his mind, also communicating many particulars by word of mouth from time to time. In addition a great help has been given by the dated observations which he made in pocket-books, during the years of his novel-writing, apparently with the idea that if one followed the trade of fiction one must take notes, rather than from natural tendency, for when he ceased fiction and resumed the writing of verses he left off note-taking except to a very limited extent.

The opinions quoted from these pocket-books and fugitive papers are often to be understood as his passing thoughts only, temporarily jotted there for consideration, and not as permanent conclusions--a fact of which we . . .

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