Essays on Modern Novelists

By William Lyon Phelps | Go to book overview

II
THOMAS HARDY

THE father of Thomas Hardy wished his son to enter the church, and this object was the remote goal of his early education. At just what period in the boy's mental development Christianity took on the form of a meaningless fable, we shall perhaps never know; but after a time he ceased to have even the faith of a grain of mustard seed. This absence of religious belief has proved no obstacle to many another candidate for the Christian ministry, as every habitual church-goer knows; or as any son of Belial may discover for himself by merely reading the prospectus of summer schools of theology. There has, however, always been a certain cold, mathematical precision in Mr. Hardy's way of thought that would have made him as uncomfortable in the pulpit as he would have been in an editor's chair, writing for salary persuasive articles containing the exact opposite of his individual convictions. But, although the beauty of holiness failed to impress his mind, the beauty of the sanc-

-33-

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Essays on Modern Novelists
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • I - WILLIAM DE MORGAN 1
  • II - THOMAS HARDY 33
  • III - WILLIAM DEAN HOWELLS 56
  • IV - BJÖRNSTJERNE BJÖRNSON 82
  • V Mark Twain 99
  • VI - HENRYK SIENKIEWICZ 115
  • VII - HERMANN SUDERMANN 132
  • III - ALFRED OLLIVANT 159
  • IX - ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON 172
  • X - MRS. HUMPHRY WARD 191
  • XI - RUDYARD KIPLING 208
  • XII - "LORNA DOONE" 229
  • Appendix A - NOVELS AS A UNIVERSITY STUDY 245
  • APPENDIX B - THE TEACHER'S ATTITUDE TOWARD CONTEMPORARY LITERATURE 252
  • APPENDIX C - TWO POEMS 258
  • LIST OF PUBLICATIONS 261
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