First published in 1989, this study investigates Hardy not so much in terms of his novels but as he has been constituted as a major figure in English literature. Using Hardy as a case-study, it looks at how a ‘great writer’ is produced in sociological terms, analysing the critical, cultural and ideological factors involved. By exposing this construction, the book seeks to release Hardy from the constraints imposed by orthodox literary history.
This book will be of interest to those studying nineteenth-century literature.
Table of Contents
List of plates; Acknowledgements; Introduction: Literature: criticism, and history; Part I: Making ‘Thomas Hardy’: A Critiography; 1. The critical constitution of ‘Thomas Hardy’ 2. ‘Thomas Hardy’ in education 3. ‘Tragedies of modern life’? ‘Thomas Hardy on radio, TV, and film; Part II: Remaking Thomas Hardy; Hardy and social class: reading The Life 5. Hardy and social class: The Hand of Ethelberta 6. Another ‘Wessex’; another ‘Thomas Hardy’; Notes; References; Index