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A Changed Man and Other Tales by Thomas Hardy, Fiction, Literary, Short Stories



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A Changed Man and Other Tales by Thomas Hardy, Fiction, Literary, Short Stories by Thomas Hardy
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The great British novelist Thomas Hardy, among other things, was the author of the poem, "The Dead Man Walking." Considered the "writer of Dorset," Hardy's fictional Wessex is perhaps bleaker than the real Dorset itself, long possessed of a hard, cold, lonely beauty. A Changed Man and Other Tales is a collection of Hardy's stories written between 1880 and 1910. The title story is reminiscent of Hardy's longer, darker novels such as Jude the Obscure. The "Changed Man" is Captain Maumbry, a dashing Hussar from a regiment that comes to Casterbridge, captivating all the young women and most of the young men. But the regiment is "haunted" and -- after a new parson comes to town, the formerly carefree soldier Maumbry is transformed into a deeply religious minister. But his wife has no intention of becoming a poor parson's bridge; the dissolution of their marriage and both of their lives constitutes the rest of the tale. In distilling deep insight from what serves as cruel gossip in most towns -- not merely Casterbridge -- Hardy is writing about his heart's truest subject. A Changed Man and Other Tales is highly recommended for readers who are moved by such bleak, uncompromising, yet truthful visions.

Author Biography

Thomas Hardy (1840 - 1928) was an English novelist and poet. A Victorian realist in the tradition of George Eliot, he was influenced both in his novels and in his poetry by Romanticism, especially William Wordsworth. He was highly critical of much in Victorian society, though Hardy focused more on a declining rural society. While Hardy wrote poetry throughout his life and regarded himself primarily as a poet, his first collection was not published until 1898. Initially, therefore, he gained fame as the author of such novels as Far from the Madding Crowd (1874), The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886), Tess of the d'Urbervilles (1891), and Jude the Obscure (1895). During his lifetime, Hardy's poetry was acclaimed by younger poets (particularly the Georgians) who viewed him as a mentor. After his death his poems were lauded by Ezra Pound, W. H. Auden and Philip Larkin. Many of his novels concern tragic characters struggling against their passions and social circumstances and they are often set in the semi-fictional region of Wessex; initially based on the medieval Anglo-Saxon kingdom, Hardy's Wessex eventually came to include the counties of Dorset, Wiltshire, Somerset, Devon, Hampshire and much of Berkshire, in southwest and south central England. He destroyed the manuscript of his first, unplaced novel, but -- encouraged by mentor and friend George Meredith -- tried again. His important work took place in an area of southern England he called Wessex, named after the English kingdom that existed before the Norman Conquest.
Release date Australia
March 1st, 2007
Illustrations, black and white
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