Thomas Hardy and His Readers: Contradictions of the Rebellious Serial Writer

Adelina Sánchez Espinosa

Abstract


This contribution explores the relationship between Thomas Hardy and his contemporary readers from The Poor Man and the Lady, his first, unpublished, novel, to The Well- Beloved, his last one. It discovers a writer split into two, with Hardy, the artist, striving to cohabitate with Hardy-the serial writer for the three decades his career as a novelist lasted. In order to fully appreciate Hardy's novels as they have reached us nowadays, after the 1912 Wessex edition, we should focus on the contradictions between their initial manuscripts, their edited versions for the family magazines and their final reconstructions into volume forms. Although Hardy certainly wanted quick success with the Victorian masses he never let go of his "higher aspirations" to be received differently by a more select readership, even if this alternative reading had to be done between the lines at a later stage.


Keywords


Thomas Hardy; Victorian readership; Hardy's fiction- Victorian censorship- reading between the lines-serial writing- periodical magazines; Aestheticism

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13125/2039-6597/2139

NBN: http://nbn.depositolegale.it/urn%3Anbn%3Ait%3Aunica-20283

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