Today marks the 174th anniversary of the birth of Thomas Hardy, English author and poet. While you may have read some of his classic novels such as Far from the Madding Crowd and Tess of the d'Urbervilles, here are five facts about Hardy you might not have known:
He was an architect by training. Hardy was apprenticed to an architect at the age of 16 and later studied at King's College, London. His first novel, The Poor Man and the Lady was written when he was 30 years old. However, it was rejected by publishers for its political nature and style, and Hardy eventually destroyed the manuscript. Critics led him to stop writing fiction. The harsh critical response to Jude the Obscure (published in 1895) is believed to be the reason why Hardy only produced poems and drama until his death in 1928. He wrote until his death. Hardy's final poem (his poems numbered over 800) was dictated to his second wife Florence on his deathbed. His burial was controversial. Hardy had wished to be buried with his first wife, Emma, whose death he was greatly affected by, but his executor insisted that he be buried in Westminster Abbey's Poets' Corner. As a compromise, his heart was buried with his first wife, and the rest of his body in the abbey. Find titles by Thomas Hardy in the ZODML Catalogue and more classic fiction for free download in our e-Library.