Thomas Hardy Biography | Author of The Mayor of Casterbridge

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Thomas Hardy was born June 2, 1840, in a village near Dorchester in the southwestern region of England that would become the setting for his novels.

His father, Thomas, was a builder and mason; his mother, Jemima Hand, was a cook.

After attending schools in his village, Bockhampton, and in Dorchester, Hardy was apprenticed at age sixteen to his father's employer, an architect. While learning architecture, Hardy studied the classics with a university-educated tutor named Horace Moule. In 1862, Hardy moved to London, where he worked as an assistant architect, read widely, and began writing. Poems that he submitted to periodicals were rejected, but an article, "How I Built Myself a House," was published.

Hardy's work took him back to Dorchester and then to Weymouth, where he met Emma Lavinia Gifford, whom he married in 1874. Hardy also began writing novels at this time, and it was Emma who encouraged him to...

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This section contains 468 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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