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Unexpected Elegies


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About the Author

Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), enduring author of the twentieth century, wrote the classics Jude the Obscure, Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Far from the Madding Crowd, The Return of the Native, The Mayor of Casterbridge, and many other works. Claire Tomalin's books include Thomas Hardy: The Time Torn Man and The Poems of Thomas Hardy. She lives in London.


"What an invaluable book! Thomas Hardy's vivid, surprising, and metrically resourceful elegies, so ruthlessly truthful and wrenchingly clear, so filled with nostalgia and remorse, so tender, grief-stricken, and alive, are one of the great, shattering, open-hearted legacies of twentieth-century English poetry. We are made more human in reading them." -- Edward Hirsch "Thomas Hardy's Unexpected Elegies is a superb volume of forty-one poignant lyrics by one of the half-dozen major poets of the English language in the twentieth century." -- Harold Bloom "The best of the poems about Emma fit no category, and his [Hardy's] traditionalism obscures a kind of radical modernity, an outlook that pierced through Victorian pieties to see the bedrock truth of an actual marriage...He followed no Modernist doctrine, yet could be said to be more forward-looking than many of those who did." -- Meghan O'Rourke "Often lost in the abundance of Hardy's larger collections, these 'poems about Emma' deserve their own space. In this little jewel-box of a book they have found it." -- Eamon Grennan

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