In January 1928, Thomas Hardy was buried not once, but twice. For whilst his family and friends wanted Hardy to be buried in the parish of Stinsford, near Dorchester, in the same grave as his first wife, Emma, his executor insisted that he should be interred in Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey. The final resting place of the great novelist and poet, aged 87 when he died, was therefore a site of anxiety and debate every bit as controversial as much of his work had been across his career, and in the end a compromise was reached with Hardy’s heart being taken for burial in Stinsford and his remaining ashes being placed next to those of Charles Dickens and Robert Browning in the revered space of Poets’ Corner.
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