Thomas Hardy's Studies, Specimens &C. Notebook

By Pamela Dalziel; Michael Millgate et al. | Go to book overview

Introduction

THE archive of Thomas Hardy manuscript materials is in certain respects satisfyingly large: pre-publication forms are extant for almost all of his books, both prose and verse, and his Collected Letters run to seven volumes. But there are also deplorable absences: letters dating from Hardy's first four decades are in short supply, no more than a dozen seeming to have survived from the period prior to 1870, the year of his thirtieth birthday, and he himself ensured in old age the destruction of those working diary-notebooks--full of ideas and plots for projected stories, outlines, images, and prosodic models for possible poems, and observations of people, places, and things--that he had kept from the 1860s until at least the early years of the twentieth century. With the exception of some school workbooks, a few fragments excised from documents otherwise destroyed, and the 'Schools of Painting' and 'Architectural' notebooks--both devoted to factual and technical matters1--the only early notebook materials generally available to scholars have been the brief extracts Hardy preserved in the first of his 'Literary Notes' notebooks2 or transferred (with or without revision) either into the 'Life' of himself that was eventually published, after his death, over the name of his second wife3 or into one or other of the 'synthetic' collections of still unused and potentially usable materials that he compiled, late in his career, while systematically revisiting the diary-notebooks prior to their destruction.4

Given this paucity of notebook material and of early documentation in general, the importance of the 'Studies, Specimens &c.' notebook can scarcely be exaggerated. Although not one of the diary-notebooks, it stands almost alone as a witness to Hardy's exertions and aspirations in the mid-1860s, when he was still working in London as an assistant to a prominent architect and tentatively feeling his way towards as yet dimly glimpsed possibilities of literary

____________________
1
See PersN, xviii-xx, and The Architectural Notebook of Thomas Hardy, ed. C. J. P. Beatty ( Dorchester: Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society, 1966).
2
LitN, I.3-7.
3
See Life, xiv-xvi.
4
See the earlier of the two 'Memoranda' notebooks included in PersN and the references in Biography, 89-90, to a 'Poetical Matter' notebook; although the original of the latter appears to have been lost or destroyed a microfilm is now available in Beinecke.

-ix-

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Thomas Hardy's Studies, Specimens &C. Notebook
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgements v
  • Contents vii
  • List of Abbreviations viii
  • Introduction ix
  • Bibliographical Description xxiii
  • Editorial Procedures xxiv
  • Annotations 91
  • Textual Notes 154
  • Index 161
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