Towards the end of his life Hardy wrote an autobiography that was published after his death under the pretence that it was a biography written by his second wife, Florence Emily Hardy. This was a characteristically devious strategy to pre-empt the unwelcome attentions of biographers while maintaining the appearance of objectivity. However, this work, which makes extensive use of quotations from Hardy’s diaries and notebooks, is of great interest. It is best consulted in the edition prepared by Michael Millgate, The Life and Work of Thomas Hardy by Thomas Hardy (1984), and, since it is a long book, students may wish to concentrate on the sections specially related to the texts they are studying (for example, Part V is on ‘“Tess”, “Jude”, and the End of Prose’).
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