A Brief Biography of Thomas Hardy

By Tim Lambert

Thomas Hardy was a great British writer of the 19th century. Thomas was born in the village of Higher Bockhampton, Dorset on 2 June 1840. His father, also called Thomas was a stonemason. His mother was named Jemima. They had 4 children. (Thomas had a brother and two sisters). Thomas was the oldest child. He went to school in Bockhampton, and later in Dorchester. He also learned to play the violin.

In 1856 Thomas was apprenticed to an architect. In 1862 Hardy left for London where he worked as a draughtsman. In 1867 he moved back to Dorset where he worked as an architect. But Thomas wanted to be a writer. He wrote a novel titled The Poor Man And The Lady, which was never published. Undeterred Hardy wrote a second novel called Desperate Remedies, which was published in 1871. Hardy then wrote Under The Greenwood Tree, which was published in 1872 and he wrote A Pair of Blue Eyes which was published in 1873.

Meanwhile, Thomas married Emma Gifford in September 1873. As a young man, Hardy became very skeptical about religion.

However Thomas Hardy really found fame with his novel Far From The Madding Crowd published in 1874. Hardy then wrote The Hand of Ethelberta, which was published in 1876. Hardy then wrote The Return of the Native, which was published in 1878.

Next, he wrote The Trumpet Major (published in 1880), A Laodicean (published in 1881), and Two on a Tower (published in 1882). His novel The Mayor of Casterbridge followed in 1886.

Hardy’s novel Tess of the d’Urbervilles was published in 1891. It was followed by Jude The Obscure in 1895. His novel The Well-Beloved was published in 1897.

In later life, Hardy turned from writing novels to writing poetry. Poems of the Past and the Present was published in 1901. Satires of Circumstance was published in 1914.

Emma Hardy died in 1912. Thomas married Florence Dugdale in 1914. Thomas Hardy died on 11 January 1928. On 16 January 1928, his ashes were buried in Westminster Abbey.