Thomas Hardy


1840

June 2: Thomas Hardy born in Higher Bockhampton.

1848

TH begins attending Julia Martin's school in Bockhampton.

1849

TH begins playing violin locally.

1853

TH's education becomes intensive -- he studies Latin, French and begins reading widely.

1856

TH is apprenticed to the local architect John Hicks. The office is next to Barnes' school. Around this time TH meets and studies with Horace Moule, going through the Greek dramatists under his tutelage. TH witnesses the execution of Martha Browne in August.

1862

TH travels to London to work under Arthur Blomfield. While finding his way in London he attends the Exhibition. He explores the cultural life of London, visiting museums, attending plays and operas, and begins writing poetry in earnest.

1865

TH publishes his first article, "How I Built Myself a House."

1867

TH returns to Dorset and works for Hicks. He begins considering writing as a profession and writes the unpublished novel The Poor Man and the Lady.

1869

TH works for Crickmay.

1870

TH travels to St. Juliot to work on the restoration of the church. Here he meets Emma Lavinia Gifford.

1871

Desperate Remedies published.

1872

Under the Greenwood Tree published.

1873

A Pair of Blue Eyes published. TH gives up architecture as a career to write full-time. Horace Moule commits suicide in Cambridge.

1874

Far From the Madding Crowd appears serially. In September TH marries Emma, travels to Paris, and sets up house in London. He moves around a bit and eventually settles in Sturminster Newton.

1876

The Hand of Ethelberta published.

1878

The Return of the Native published. With it TH publishes a map. TH moves again and with the success of this novel, begins to experience life as a celebrity. He joins the Saville Club.

1880

The Trumpet-Major is published -- it is one of TH's earliest treatments of the Napoleonic war.

1881

A Laodicean is published. It was written while TH is bed-ridden. Hardy moves back to Dorset.

1882

Two on a Tower published.

1883

TH designs and supervises construction of his Dorchester home, Max Gate.

1886

The Mayor of Casterbridge published soon after TH moves into Max Gate.

1887

The Woodlanders published. TH and Emma tour the continent. When they return, he begins habit of visiting London for "the season."

1888

Wessex Tales, TH's first collection of short stories, is published.

1891

A Group of Noble Dames published. There is a small uproar after the publication of Tess of the d'Urbervilles.

1892

TH's father dies. He begins serialization of The Pursuit of the Well-Beloved.

1893

Meets Florence Henniker.

1894

Life's Little Ironies, TH's third collection of short stories, is published.

1895

Osgood-McIlvaine begins bringing out the first collected edition of TH's works. The set includes the first edition of Jude the Obscure.

1897

The Well-Beloved appears in volume form after extensive revisions.

1898

TH's first volume of poems, Wessex Poems, appears in an edition of only 500 copies. He is now, officially, an ex-novelist.

1902

Poems of the Past and Present, TH's second volume as a poet, is published.

1903

Part One of The Dynasts, TH extended verse-play about Napoleon and the clash of powers he brought about, appears. TH intends it as his masterpiece.

1906

The Dynasts: Part Two appears.

1908

The Dynasts: Part Three is published, thus concluding TH's epic trilogy.

1909

Time's Laughingstocks.

1910

TH receives the Order of Merit and the Freedom of Dorchester.

1912

A "definitive" edition of TH's works, the Wessex Edition, is published. It is a chance for TH to thoroughly revise his body of work.

November 27: Emma dies.

1913

TH's final book of short stories, A Changed Man, is published. TH makes a pilgrimage to the sites of his and Emma's early love.

1914

Satires of Circumstance is published. It contains the "Poems of 1912-13," written in memory of Emma.

1914

Hardy marries Florence Dugdale. World War I breaks out, contributing to TH's pessimism.

1917

Moments of Vision.

1922

Late Lyrics and Earlier.

1923

The Famous Tragedy of the Queen of Cornwall.

1925

Human Shows. TH begins working on his autobiography, published posthumously under Florence's name.

1928

January 11: TH dies. Winter Words is published posthumously. TH's ashes are buried in Poet's Corner, Westminster Abbey, and his heart is buried in Emma's grave. The Early Life of Thomas Hardy is published under Florence's name.

1930

The Later Years of Thomas Hardy published under Florence's name.

 

And yet to every bad there is a worse.