By R. G. Cox

ISBN-10: 0415134668

ISBN-13: 9780415134668

First released in 2002. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation.

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Extra resources for The Collected Critical Heritage I: Thomas Hardy: The Critical Heritage

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11) objected to the whole idea of a play intended only for reading, and complained of a lack of human characters: the historical figures were seen only in their public aspect, and the use of the spirits of the over-world tended to reduce humanity to puppets. As for the blank verse, ‘it sometimes reaches dignity but never achieves distinction’. An opinion from Meredith is recorded in a letter to Gosse of 2 July 1905 (Letters II, 567): ‘He [Hardy] questioned me as to The Dynasts. I spoke (needlessly) in favour of his continuing it now that it had a commencement.

His blemishes of style are superficial, and he will certainly survive more as a novelist than as a poet. American periodicals from 1900 onwards show a similar increase in the number of general surveys of Hardy’s work. D. Frye’s Literary Reviews and Criticisms (1908) contains an essay on ‘Nature and Thomas Hardy’ which is largely a discussion of his tragic pessimism and ‘cosmic irony’. The Boston Atlantic Monthly in 1906 (XCVIII, 354) had thirteen double-columned pages by Mary Moss commenting on all the novels in turn.

As to the story itself, it is, as we have said, disagreeable, inasmuch as it is full of crimes, in the discovery of which lies the main interest of the tale. We will not particularize them, as to do so would be to reveal the whole plot; but we may say that they are never purposeless, and that their revelation comes upon us step by step, and is worked out with considerable artistic power. The construction of the story is very curious. The various periods are accurately marked out in the headings of the chapters, and the sections into which they are divided.

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The Collected Critical Heritage I: Thomas Hardy: The Critical Heritage by R. G. Cox

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