Thomas Hardy by Patricia Ingham
Authors in Context examines the work of major writers in relation to their own time and to the present day. Combining history with lively literary discussion, each volume provides comprehensive insight into texts in their context. Hardy was born before the invention of the car, the telephone, and the aeroplane, when no woman could vote, when there were different rules for men and women wanting to divorce, and education was the preserve of the upper classes. He lived to see the Zeppelins over London, new divorce laws, wider educational opportunities, votes for women, and the questioning of religion. In novels such as Tess of the d'Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure Hardy engaged directly with the issues of the day, and his fiction resonates with contemporary concerns. This book explores the interconnections between life and art, and shows how modern interpretations on film and television create new contexts in which to read the works afresh.