By S. Gatrell
Wessex didn't spring full-born from Hardy's mind's eye while he started to write. the 1st a part of the ebook finds intimately how Wessex turned what it's, geographically, socially and culturally, starting along with his fist poem within the 1860s and finishing with wintry weather phrases, his final selection of verse. the second one (briefer) half is an account of the influence of Hardy's imaginative and prescient of Wessex on twentieth-century English tradition, providing an evidence for Hardy's patience as a favored novelist.
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Extra resources for Thomas Hardy’s Vision of Wessex
To complicate matters still further Hardy also reverses the direction that a cart would take from Dorchester to Puddletown: The afternoon drew on apace, and, looking to the left towards the sea as he walked beside the horse, Poorgrass saw strange clouds and scrolls of mist rolling over the high hills which girt the landscape in that quarter. (vII cXII) Paul could not know that in the manuscript of the novel, Hardy originally wrote ‘to the right’, and then replaced it with ‘to the left’. 20 Thomas Hardy’s Vision of Wessex Weatherbury is not described in any detail, just a few of the significant buildings, the church, the malthouse, and Bathsheba’s farm on the edge (the original of which, as Hardy’s 1912 preface explains, was not in any case in Puddletown itself), but Hardy amused himself and puzzled Paul by adding an ironic element of disguise when he described the malthouse: In the ashpit was a heap of potatoes roasting, and a boiling pipkin of charred bread, called ‘coffee,’ for the benefit of whomsoever should call, for Warren’s was a sort of village clubhouse, there being no inn in the place.
For The Return of the Native, he kept to the small region of his greatest critical successes so far, Under the Greenwood Tree and Far From the Madding Crowd, though no one would have known it from reading the first edition of the novel. From the evidence of Lucy’s notes it seems she paid even more attention to the detail of the story than she had in the earlier novels. Hardy could hardly have expected so searching a reader, but the Examiner piece on the Wessex labourer had further stimulated her curiosity about the world he was creating.
And if, like me, the reader, not recognising the places, tries to work out the interrelationship of the places, and can’t because the distances are not only wrong but inconsistently wrong, then the result is worse confusion. ’ It seems certain that Kegan Paul wrote without Hardy’s authority or knowledge to inform Lucy and anyone else who read the piece; but if so, then how did Hardy respond? Was he irritated or pleased? Did he see it as good publicity or an unwarranted stripping of veils he had intentionally placed?
Thomas Hardy’s Vision of Wessex by S. Gatrell