A Companion to Thomas Hardy (Blackwell Companions to by Keith Wilson

By Keith Wilson

Via unique essays from a unique workforce of overseas students and Hardy experts, 'A better half to Thomas Hardy' offers a distinct, one-volume source, which encompasses all facets of Hardy's significant novels, brief tales, and poetry.

• educated via the most recent in scholarly, serious, and theoretical debates from a number of the world's best Hardy scholars
• unearths groundbreaking insights via examinations of Hardy’s significant novels, brief tales, poetry, and drama
• Explores Hardy's paintings within the context of the most important highbrow and socio-cultural currents of his time and assesses his legacy for next writers

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Additional resources for A Companion to Thomas Hardy (Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture)

Sample text

In a Positivist society, this teaching would devolve upon a strengthened family unit, which by fostering love of parents, siblings, and children would both bind together the past, present, and future, and reach out to the wider human race. Over time, altruistic feeling would become an organic improvement, transmissible to future generations. In the same Lamarckian vein, Angel Clare expects that “improved systems of moral and intellectual training” will gradually “elevate the involuntary, and even the unconscious, instincts of human nature” (TD 167; italics added).

Dale, Peter Allan (1989). In Pursuit of a Scientific Culture: Science, Art and Society in the Victorian Age. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. Darwin, Charles ([1871] 2003). The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, ed. Richard Dawkins. London: Gibson Square Books. Darwin, Charles ( [1872] 1998). The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, ed. Paul Ekman. New York: HarperCollins. Hardy and Philosophy Deleuze, Gilles, and Claire Parnet (1987). Dialogues, trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam.

Hardy’s reading of Comte was, as one might expect, critical as well as sympathetic. Clym Yeobright, “the nicest of all my heroes” (CL IV: 212), is thoroughly Comtean in his desire to serve his kind, his resignation in the face of suffering, and the undogmatic nature of his teaching; but the novel also makes clear the undercurrent of egotism in his self-appointed role as tutor to the Egdon eremites, his secret relief when blindness forces him to abandon his efforts, and the irony that he is listened to not because he is teaching the social sympathies, but because those he is addressing already feel sympathy for him.

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