Thomas Hardy(1840-1928), Novelist and poet
Sitter in 60 portraits
One of the last great novelists of the nineteenth century, who combined realism with a critical view of Victorian society. Hardy’s writing centred on tragic characters whose lives are played out against rural landscapes, closely based on his native Dorset. He trained as an architect and wrote in his spare time until the success of Far from the Madding Crowd (1874). Other major works include The Return of the Native (1878), Tess of the d’Urbervilles (1891), The Dynasts (1904–8) and the poetry volume, Satires of Circumstance (1914).