April FitzLyon

Thomas The Obscure

Thoms Hardy, A Biography

By

Oxford University Press 657pp £15 order from our bookshop

Thomas Hardy, the most devious of men, left a number of minefields and boobytraps for his future biographers. But he has mel his match in Michael Millgate, author of Thomas Hardy: His career as a novelist (1971) and co-editor of Hardy’ s Collected Letters, who has now produced a mammoth academic biography. Henry James, who foresaw the way modem biography would develop (but failed to avoid Leon Edel’ s scalpel himself) observed that ‘ the cunning of the inquirer … will exceed in subtlety and ferocity anything we today conceive’ ; and he warned ‘ the pale victim’ that he would only be safe from posterity ‘ with every track covered, every paper burnt and every letter unanswered.’

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'It would be nice to think that women will achieve equal pay in my lifetime, rather than to watch gloomily as stati… ,
    • In 1660, two of the signatories of King Charles I's death warrant fled across the Atlantic to New England. But were… ,
    • Howard Jacobson's sixteenth novel is 'a love story of sorts, one characterised not by physical desire or even conta… ,
    • 'The sudden immersion in the new and unfamiliar can lead people to write with a rare lack of self-consciousness' P… ,
    • 'Pools bend the rules. Clothes slip off, skin glistens, consciousness heightens. A dreamlike scenario unfolds' Jam… ,
    • 'Although he surely didn’t know W H Auden’s theory that every high C proclaims human freedom and our capacity to tr… ,
    • RT : With beginning tomorrow, we've uncovered a 1997 article from the archive reviewing 'Golf Dream… ,