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Profile of the Day: Thomas Hardy

On this day in 1840, Victorian poet and novelist Thomas Hardy was born in Dorset, England. Considered one of the most renowned writers in the history of English literature, Hardy’s works were often critical of Victorian society and the decline of rural life.

Image: Thomas Hardy / National Science and Media Museum, Flickr

Hardy was the eldest of four children born to Thomas Hardy, a stonemason and local builder, and his wife, Jemima Hand. His early experiences growing up in a rural community would later become fundamental to his writings.

Although he stopped his formal education at the age of 16, Hardy developed his own poetic skills and soon began publishing his own works. At the time of publication, some of Hardy’s greatest novels were met with controversy for his frank criticism of the social constraints imposed on the people living in Victorian England. He is perhaps best known for the novels Far From the Maddening CrowdJude the Obscure, and Tess of the d’Urbervilles.

Hardy died on January 11, 1928 at the age of 87. He was placed in Westminster Abbey’s famous Poets’ Corner despite his wish to be interred at Stinsford with his first wife, Emma. A compromised was reached, which placed his ashes in the Poets’ Corner, while his heart was buried at Stinsford with his wife.

Explore Thomas Hardy’s family tree on Geni and share your connection to the English writer. 

View Thomas Hardy’s Geni Profile

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