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Thomas Hardy

Claire Tomalin

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Description:

Whitbread Award winner Claire Tomalin's seminal biography of the enigmatic novelist and poet Thomas Hardy. Today Thomas Hardy is best known for creating the great Wessex landscape as the backdrop to his rural stories, starting with Far from the Madding Crowd, and making them classics. But his true legacy is that of a progressive thinker. When he published Tess of the d'Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure late in his career, Hardy explored a very different world than that of his rural tales, one in which the plight of lower classes and women take center stage while the higher classes are damned. Ironically, though, Hardy remained cloaked in the arms of this very upper class during the publication of these books, acting at all times in complete convention with the rules of society. Was he using his books to express himself in a way he felt unable to do in the company he kept, or did he know sensationalism would sell? Award-winning author Claire Tomalin expertly reconstructs the life that led Hardy to maintain conventionality and write revolution. Born in Dorset in 1840, Hardy came of age in rather meager circumstances. At sixteen, he left home for London and slowly worked his way through many rejections to become a published writer. Despite his mother's admonitions to never marry, he wed Emma Lavinia Gifford in 1874 and, even though he fell easily in love, stayed true to her till her death in 1912. He frequently toured London society, but few felt they knew the true Hardy, and it is this very core of self that Tomalin elegantly brings us to know so completely. Hardy's work consistently challenged sexual and religious conventions in a way that few other books of his time did. Though his personal modesty and kindness allowed some to underestimate him or even to pity him, they did not prevent him from taking on the central themes of human experience-time, memory, loss, love, fear, grief, anger, uncertainty, death. And it was exactly his quiet life, full of the small, personal dramas of family quarrels, rivalries, and

Language:

English

Narrators:

Josephine Bailey

Length:

14h 22m


Chapters

Free Sample

05:00

Introduction
Introduction

19:45


Part 1, Chapter 1
Part 1, Chapter 1

36:44


Part 1, Chapter 2
Part 1, Chapter 2

30:06


Part 1, Chapter 3
Part 1, Chapter 3

35:12


Part 1, Chapter 4
Part 1, Chapter 4

40:07


Part 1, Chapter 5
Part 1, Chapter 5

50:20


Part 2, Chapter 6
Part 2, Chapter 6

27:52


Part 2, Chapter 7
Part 2, Chapter 7

28:15


Part 2, Chapter 8
Part 2, Chapter 8

31:38


Part 2, Chapter 9
Part 2, Chapter 9

33:38


Part 2, Chapter 10
Part 2, Chapter 10

42:47


Part 3, Chapter 11
Part 3, Chapter 11

26:44


Part 3, Chapter 12
Part 3, Chapter 12

28:27


Part 3, Chapter 13
Part 3, Chapter 13

28:47


Part 3, Chapter 14
Part 3, Chapter 14

42:24


Part 3, Chapter 15
Part 3, Chapter 15

35:41


Part 3, Chapter 16
Part 3, Chapter 16

27:37


Part 3, Chapter 17
Part 3, Chapter 17

41:35


Part 3, Chapter 18
Part 3, Chapter 18

33:39


Part 3, Chapter 19
Part 3, Chapter 19

35:57


Part 4, Chapter 20
Part 4, Chapter 20

34:31


Part 4, Chapter 21
Part 4, Chapter 21

29:26


Part 4, Chapter 22
Part 4, Chapter 22

29:20


Part 4, Chapter 23
Part 4, Chapter 23

41:32


Part 4, Chapter 24
Part 4, Chapter 24

26:00


Part 4, Chapter 25
Part 4, Chapter 25

24:06


Part 4, Chapter 26
Part 4, Chapter 26

00:22