Out now: Thomas Hardy, Poet. New Perspectives (Autumn 2015)

Edited by Adrian Grafe & Laurence Estanove
Thomas Hardy, Poet. New Perspectives
McFarland, 2015

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Grafe & Estanove cover


The poems of Thomas Hardy (1840–1928) are key to understanding 19th, 20th and even 21st century poetry. This collection of fresh essays sheds new light on Hardy’s poems—some of which have received little critical attention—from a variety of thematic and analytical approaches, offering a detailed picture of how his works are currently being read.

The contributors discuss why Hardy’s poetic genius is less and less overshadowed by his career as a novelist and highlight his passionate attention to small details, his delight in “noticing things” and his “eye for…mysteries.”

This is an excellent collection of essays: far-reaching, consistently thoughtful, frequently insightful and indeed riveting. They range from the treatment of landscape to the placement of a comma, but the volume as a whole is a sustained effort at critique and celebration.
Phillip Mallett, University of St Andrews

Table of Contents

Introduction (Adrian Grafe and Laurence Estanove)

I–Landscape into Memory
1. “Thinking Like a Mountain”? Hardy’s Poetic Vision of “Environment” (Adrian Tait)
2. Reclaiming English Bones: Corporeal Commemoration in Hardy’s War Poems (Melanie East)
3. “Wild Wavering”: Between Pastoral and Elegy (Farhi Oz)

1. Rhyming Events and the Pessimistic Muse (Stephen Tardif)
2. The End Game: Thomas Hardy’s Looking Glass (Richard D. Beards)
3. From Pessimism to Idealism: The Pressure of Paradox (Laurence Estanove)

III–Specters of Doubt and Faith
1. Agnosticism and Freethinking: The Influence of Leslie Stephen (Ilaria Mallozzi)
2. The Shadow of God in Poems of the Past and the Present (Stephanie Bernard)
3. Uncomfortably Numb: “In Tenebris” (Adrian Grafe)

IV–Poetic Craft and Accidentals
1. Messy Feelings, Tidy Forms: “Poems of 1912-13” (Emily Taylor Merriman)
2. Challenging Time: Philological and Lexicographical Landscape (Emilie Loriaux)
3. Hardy’s Crafting of Barnes (Heather Hawkins)
4. Punctuating Voice and Space (Charles Lock)

Epilogue: The Transcendence of Things Seen (Michael Edwards)