Approximately one half of Hardy's sixty-year literary career was devoted to the novel. From 1871 until 1897, Hardy wrote fifteen novels, fourteen of which were published. His first novel, The Poor Man and the Lady, never found a publisher, and Hardy eventually burned the manuscript.
Thomas Hardy wrote a total of fifty-three short stories, collecting thirty-seven in four volumes: Wessex Tales (six short stories written between 1879 and 1888), A Group of Noble Dames (ten short stories written between 1878 and 1890), Life's Little Ironies (nine short stories written between 1882 and 1893), and A Changed Man (twelve short stories written between 1881 and 1900).
Although his first volume of poetry was not published until 1898, Hardy wrote his first poem, "Domicilium" in 1856 at the age of 16, and his last poems in 1927, just months before his death in January, 1928. Thus, Hardy's poetic career spanned more than seven decades, more than twice the length of his career as novelist.
June 2, 1840 - Born to Thomas and Jemima (Hand) Hardy at Higher Bockhampton, Dorset.
1848 - Attends village school in Lower Bockhampton
1849 - Transfers to school in Dorchester. Learns Latin, plays fiddle for dances and weddings.
Thomas Hardy was greatly influenced by the land and people around him. Find out more about Thomas Hardy and the land.