Thomas Hardy Biographies

The irony of providing a list of biographies focussed on a man as intensely private as Thomas Hardy is clear. His desire to control the presentation of his own life is found most obviously in his two-volume “autobiography,” The Early Life of Thomas Hardy and The Later Years of Thomas Hardy, originally published under the name of his second wife, Florence. Three full-scale biographies have been published on Hardy within the last twenty-five years: Robert Gittings’ Young Thomas Hardy and The Older Hardy; Michael Millgate’s Thomas Hardy: A Biography; and Martin Seymour-Smith’s Hardy. The scholarly consensus is that Millgate’s text is definitive. What follows is a chronological listing of works which are either actual biographies of Hardy, or which possess a significant biographical element.

Hedgcock, F. A., Thomas Hardy: penseur et artiste. Paris: Librairie Hachette, 1911.

Brennecke, Jr., Ernest. The Life of Thomas Hardy. New York: Greenberg, 1925.

Hardy, Florence Emily. The Early Life of Thomas Hardy, 1840-1891. London: Macmillan, 1928.

Hardy, Florence Emily. The Later Years of Thomas Hardy, 1892-1928. London: Macmillan, 1930.

Holland, Clive. Thomas Hardy O.M.: The Man, His Works and the Land of Wessex. London: Herbert Jenkins, 1933.

Weber, Carl J. Hardy of Wessex, his Life and Literary Career. New York: Columbia University Press, 1940.

Blunden, Edmund. Thomas Hardy. New York: St. Martin’s, 1942.

Hardy, Evelyn. Thomas Hardy: A Critical Biography. London: Hogarth Press, 1954.

Deacon, Lois and Terry Coleman. Providence and Mr. Hardy. London: Hutchinson, 1966.

Stevens-Cox, J. Thomas Hardy: Materials for a Study of his Life, Times, and Works. St. Peter Port, Guernsey: Toucan Press, 1968.

Stevens-Cox, J. Thomas Hardy: More Materials for a Study of his Life, Times, and Works. St. Peter Port, Guernsey: Toucan Press, 1971.

Stewart, J. I. M. Thomas Hardy: A Critical Biography. New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1971.

Halliday, F. E. Thomas Hardy: His Life and Work. Bath: Adams & Dart, 1972.

Gittings, Robert. Young Thomas Hardy. Boston : Little, Brown, 1975.

O’Sullivan, Timothy. Thomas Hardy: An Illustrated Biography. London: Macmillan, 1975.

Phelps, Kenneth. The Wormwood Cup: Thomas Hardy in Cornwall. Padstow: Lodenek Press, 1975.

Orel, Harold. The Final Years of Thomas Hardy, 1912-1928. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1976.

Gittings, Robert. Thomas Hardy’s Later Years. Boston : Little, Brown, 1978.

Kay-Robinson, Denys. The First Mrs Thomas Hardy. London: Macmillan, 1979.

Gittings, Robert and Jo Manton. The Second Mrs Hardy. London: Heinemann, 1979.

Millgate, Michael. Thomas Hardy: A Biography. New York: Random House, 1982.

Millgate, Michael (ed.). The Life and Work of Thomas Hardy by Thomas Hardy. London: Macmillan, 1984.

Orel, Harold. The Unknown Thomas Hardy. New York: St. Martin’s, 1987.

Gatrell, Simon. Hardy the Creator: A Textual Biography. Oxford: Clarendon, 1988.

Draper, Jo. Thomas Hardy: A Life in Pictures. Wimborne, Dorset: The Dovecote Press.

Hands, Timothy. Thomas Hardy : Distracted Preacher? : Hardy’s religious biography and its influence on his novels. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1989.

Pinion, F. B. Thomas Hardy: His Life and Friends. London: Palgrave, 1992.

Seymour-Smith, Martin. Hardy. London: Bloomsbury, 1994.

Wilson, Keith. Thomas Hardy on Stage. London: Macmillan, 1995.

Gibson, James. Thomas Hardy: A Literary Life. London: Macmillan, 1996.

Jedrzejewski, Jan. Thomas Hardy and the Church. London: Macmillan, 1996.
Turner, Paul. The Life of Thomas Hardy: A Critical Biography. Oxford: Blackwell, 1998.