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New PDF release: BRITISH WRITERS, Volume 6

By Ian Scott-Kilvert

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When the pursuers at last find them at Stonehenge, '"It is as it should be/ she murmured. 'Angel, I am almost glad—yes, glad! This happiness could not have lasted. '" She faces the end with her habitual courage. " Hardy is pessimistic about the governance of the universe, but not about human beings. In his lesser books there are villains playing their melodramatic parts, but in his greater novels there are no villains. There are weak, and volatile, and selfish people like Wildeve or Fitzpiers; but they are not simply scoundrels.

K. Chesterton. ALEXANDER NORMAN JEFFARES, FRSL, FAHA. Professor of English Language and Literature, University of Adelaide (1951-1956); Professor of English Literature, University of Leeds (1957-1974); Professor of English Literature, University of Stirling (1974). Editor of A Review of English Literature (1960-1967) and A Review of International XXXlll LIST OF CONTRIBUTORS Literature (1970-1972); Vice Chairman, Scottish Arts Council; Life President, International Association for the Study of Anglo-Irish Literature.

His first venture in fiction, "The Poor Man and the Lady" (1867-1868), was never published, though a much shortened version of it was printed later in a magazine. It was read and criticized by two publishers' readers, none other than John Morley and George Meredith, the latter advising him, probably rightly, against publication, but less rightly telling him how to set about the writing of a novel. Hardy took the advice and exaggerated it in the thrills and surprising episodes that he heaped one on another in Desperate Remedies (1871)—a clever experiment in fiction, but not what we have come to think of as characteristic of Hardy.

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