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A Companion to Thomas Hardy

Keith Wilson (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-118-30749-6
504 pages
November 2012, Wiley-Blackwell
A Companion to Thomas Hardy (1118307496) cover image
Through original essays from a distinguished team of international scholars and Hardy specialists, A Companion to Thomas Hardy provides a unique, one-volume resource, which encompasses all aspects of Hardy's major novels, short stories, and poetry
  • Informed by the latest in scholarly, critical, and theoretical debates from some of the world's leading Hardy scholars
  • Reveals groundbreaking insights through examinations of Hardy’s major novels, short stories, poetry, and drama
  • Explores Hardy's work in the context of the major intellectual and socio-cultural currents of his time and assesses his legacy for subsequent writers
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Notes on Contributors viii

List of Abbreviations xiv

Introduction 1
Keith Wilson

Part I The Life 5

1 Hardy as Biographical Subject 7
Michael Millgate

Part II The Intellectual Context 19

2 Hardy and Philosophy 21
Phillip Mallett

3 Hardy and Darwin: An Enchanting Hardy? 36
George Levine

4 Hardy and the Place of Culture 54
Angelique Richardson

5 “The Hard Case of the Would-be-Religious”: Hardy and the Church from Early Life to Later Years 71
Pamela Dalziel

6 Thomas Hardy’s Notebooks 86
William Greenslade

7 “Genres are not to be mixed. . . . I will not mix them”: Discourse, Ideology, and Generic Hybridity in Hardy’s Fiction 102
Richard Nemesvari

8 Hardy and his Critics: Gender in the Interstices 117
Margaret R. Higonnet

Part III The Socio-Cultural Context 131

9 “His Country”: Hardy in the Rural 133
Ralph Pite

10 Thomas Hardy of London 146
Keith Wilson

11 “A Thickness of Wall”: Hardy and Class 162
Roger Ebbatson

12 Reading Hardy through Dress: The Case of Far From the Madding Crowd 178
Simon Gatrell

13 Hardy and Romantic Love 194
Michael Irwin

14 Hardy and the Visual Arts 210
J. B. Bullen

15 Hardy and Music: Uncanny Sounds 223
Claire Seymour

Part IV The Works 239

16 The Darkening Pastoral: Under the Greenwood Tree and Far From the Madding Crowd 241
Stephen Regan

17 “Wild Regions of Obscurity”: Narrative in The Return of the Native 254
Penny Boumelha

18 Hardy’s “Novels of Ingenuity” Desperate Remedies, The Hand of Ethelberta, and A Laodicean: Rare Hands at Contrivances 267
Mary Rimmer

19 Hardy’s “Romances and Fantasies” A Pair of Blue Eyes, The Trumpet-Major, Two on a Tower, and The Well-Beloved: Experiments in Metafiction 281
Jane Thomas

20 The Haunted Structures of The Mayor of Casterbridge 299
Julian Wolfreys

21 Dethroning the High Priest of Nature in The Woodlanders 313
Andrew Radford

22 Melodrama, Vision, and Modernity: Tess of the d’Urbervilles 328
Tim Dolin

23 Jude the Obscure and English National Identity: The Religious Striations of Wessex 345
Dennis Taylor

24 “. . . into the hands of pure-minded English girls”: Hardy’s Short Stories and the Late Victorian Literary Marketplace 364
Peter Widdowson

25 Sequence and Series in Hardy’s Poetry 378
Tim Armstrong

26 Hardy’s Poems: The Scholarly Situation 395
William W. Morgan

27 That’s Show Business: Spectacle, Narration, and Laughter in The Dynasts 413
G. Glen Wickens

Part V Hardy the Modern 431

28 Modernist Hardy: Hand-Writing in The Mayor of Casterbridge 433
J. Hillis Miller

29 Inhibiting the Voice: Thomas Hardy and Modern Poetics 450
Charles Lock

30 Hardy’s Heirs: D. H. Lawrence and John Cowper Powys 465
Terry R. Wright

Index 479

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Keith Wilson is Professor of English at the University of Ottawa. He is the author of Thomas Hardy on Stage (1995), editor of the Penguin Classics editions of The Mayor of Casterbridge (1997; 2003) and The Fiddler of the Reels and Other Stories (2003, with Kristin Brady), and editor of Thomas Hardy Reappraised: Essays in Honour of Michael Millgate (2006). He is also the co-editor, with Michael Millgate, of the 8th volume of The Collected Letters of Thomas Hardy, and editor for the forthcoming Cambridge edition of Tess of the d'Urbervilles. In addition to his work on Hardy, he has also published widely on nineteenth- and twentieth-century British literature, Victorian and Edwardian music hall, and the literary representation of London.

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  • Offers the most comprehensive one-volume study of Hardy available through historical contextualization and textual analysis of his key works

  • Informed by the latest in scholarly, critical, and theoretical debates from some of the world's leading Hardy scholars

  • Reveals groundbreaking insights through examinations of Hardy’s major novels, short stories, poetry, and drama

  • Explores Hardy's work in the context of the major intellectual and socio-cultural currents of his time and assesses his legacy for subsequent writers
See More

“Perhaps Hardy the poet needs a separate Companion.  If it matched this one in the quality of writing and usefulness to the student, it would be a treasure.”  (Victorian Studies, 1 October 2012)

"Keith Wilson's A Companion to Thomas Hardy, is distinguished for the thoroughness with which it covers intellectual contexts and for the quality of its contributors. Scholars and students of Hardy will not want to be without it."—Studies in English Literature

"Like the many other titles in the Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture series, this volume offers comprehensive, newly written work that meets the needs of experienced undergraduates, graduate students, and all who seek the best recent scholarship on Hardy ... These fresh perspectives on Hardy will lead many to reread Hardy with new vision."—English Literature in Transition

“There must be at least ten good books' worth of ideas and analysis in these thirty essays" (Hardy Review)

“Hardy was a diverse, complex author, and this text mirrors his diversity and does much to explain his complexity. Highly recommended.”—Choice  

“Given the range and number of its essays as well as its treatment of those who influenced Hardy, such as Darwin and Mill, this book will be indispensable for anyone conducting research in the nineteenth-century novel or poetry or teaching in the area … With thirty critical essays from some of the most prominent experts in Hardy scholarship, in addition to Keith Wilson's provocative and concise introduction, this new book will inspire readers to return to the texts themselves.” (New Books on Literature) 

“This collection of essays is accessible to both the general reader and the scholar … The typeface is clear, the page quality and binding of a high standard, making this, like other titles in the series, an excellent addition to any academic library collection serving English literary studies and the public library looking to provide an up to date critical context for its fiction collection.” (Reference Reviews)

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