Thomas Hardy is one of the sacred figures in English writing, a great poet and a novelist with a world reputation. His life was also extraordinary: from the poverty of rural Dorset he went on to become the Grand Old Man of English life and letters, his last resting place in Westminster Abbey. This biography covers Hardy's illegitimate birth, his rural upbringing, his escape to London in the 1860s, his marriages, his status as a bestselling novelist, and in later life, his supreme achievements as a poet.
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