Thomas Hardy Remembered assembles some 150 annotated interviews and recollections of Hardy, most of which are being reprinted for the first time. They range from close personal reflections by old friends such as Sir George Douglas, J.M. Barrie, and Edmund Gosse, to fleeting glimpses by strangers who saw Hardy at a London party or at his club. Martin Ray has selected items having the greatest literary or biographical significance, and annotated them with meticulous accuracy and a keen eye for the telling detail. As a result, the volume will be an invaluable resource to scholars who are interested not only in what concerned Hardy personally and professionally, but also in how he was perceived by others. Having these items collected in one volume reveals Hardy's contemporaneous opinions about his own writings and also makes it possible to trace the marked recurrence, over time, of certain preoccupations: ancient families, Hardy's hostility to reviewers, architecture, Roman relics, Wessex folklore and dialect, animal welfare, Napoleon, and hangings. With regard to his literary career, a portrait emerges of Hardy as the scrupulous professional, properly aware of his commercial rights, while at the same time appearing, to some who met him, unconscious of his own genius.
Table of Contents
Contents: General Editor's preface; Thomas Hardy: a chronology; Introduction; Interviews; Hardy's boyhood; Courtship; In the eighties; The nineties; 1900-1910; 1911-1917; 'Life's decline': 1918-1920; 'I looked back': 1921-1925; 'The last scene': 1926-1928; 'A death-day recalled'; Index.
'In Thomas Hardy Remembered, Martin Ray breaks new ground with that steadfast application of mind and archeological precision we have come to know and trust as characteristic of his scholarship. This is not only a pioneering work but also a riveting read, unfolding a Hardy before our eyes via that most persuasive of all forms of biographical writing, the first-hand account - in this instance, the unmediated accounts of Hardy’s literary (and oft-opinionated) contemporaries.' Rosemarie Morgan, Yale University, and President, Thomas Hardy Association ’...fresh perspectives on Hardy for twenty-first-century readers. Although Ray offers this collection as a complement to Thomas Hardy: Interviews and Recollections, ed. by James Gibson (1999), Ray’s collection emerges as superior because of its more useful organizational scheme and helpful annotations throughout...Highly Recommended.’ Choice ’Martin Ray's meticulous scholarship is reflected in his detailed index which, whilst offering admirable support to the leisurely reader, is also invaluable to the magpie... This book is a labour of love grounded in the discipline and attention to detail that marks the distinguished scholar. It has much to offer as a supplement to Hardy's work and the numerous biographies... It also offers a fascinating introduction to a writer whose work placed him firmly in the spotlight of celebrity but whose instinct was ever for privacy and seclusion.’ The Thomas Hardy Journal ’This is indeed a fascinating read both for specialists in Thomas Hardy and general readers interested in late Victorian and Edwardian British culture and history. ... Really important biographical documents are included in long excerpts and splendidly annonated both for the literary scholar and the general reader.’ Archiv fÃ¼r das Studium der Neueren Sprachen und Literaturen