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Thomas Hardy was born in 1840 and wrote both poetry and novels, including The Mayor of Casterbridge, Tess of the D'Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure. He died in 1928. Rosemarie Morgan teaches in the English department at Yale University. Shannon Russell holds a post doctoral Fellowship specializing in nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature at Oxford.
June 2014 Guest Editor Freya North on Thomas Hardy... For me, no other writer so definitively captures both the beauty and challenges of Britain - its landscape, weather, village life versus city life and of course the class system. But most of all I love the way that landscape is not merely a backdrop in Hardy's writing, but a leading character in it – something that has become a crucial element of my own writing. I love the paintings of Millet – the unpatronizing dignity he imbued his scenes of rustic life. This is so true of Hardy too and nowhere is this more compelling than in Tess of the D’Urbervilles - one of my all time favourite books. Visit our '50 Classics Everyone Should Read' collection to discover more classic titles.