As we usher in June, I decided to reblog this from the site Interesting Literature in honor of Thomas Hardy’s birthday today. He was an odd, elusive man, so perhaps it’s no surprise that he was a Gemini! As a teenager I read all his books, but particularly liked the less tragic ones, like “Under the Greenwood Tree” and “The Trumpet-Major.”
Thomas Hardy was born on this day, 2 June, in 1840. (Seventeen years later to the day, composer Edward Elgar would be born.) Let’s raise a glass of something (cider?) to one of the great poets and novelists of English literature.
1. Much of the common perception of Thomas Hardy is incorrect, or, at the very least, inaccurate. Many people, if asked to describe Hardy’s background, would probably paint us a picture of a rustic, poor, and self-educated man who worked his way up the social ladder to become a celebrated author. Whilst his upbringing was certainly rural rather than metropolitan, he wasn’t exactly poor: his father was a successful builder who had six men working for him. They were hardly on the breadline. Whilst it’s true that Hardy’s family lacked the funds to send him to university – instead, he left school at sixteen to train as an architect –…
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