Wessex in Transition
Much of what follows relates to Dorset and neighbouring regions to the north and east. As Hardy went further afield for the settings of some of his stories and novels, notably A Pair of Blue Eyes, A Laodicean, and Jude the Obscure, Wessex assumed large cartographic dimensions, and the area (mainly Dorset) which Hardy knew best became ‘South Wessex’. Yet, in terms of Hardy’s work, the importance of this area is almost inversely proportional to its size in the context of greater Wessex. All that is most Wessex in character — its people, language, customs, traditions, architecture, landscape, and far-reaching history — derived from certain regions of Dorset, Hardy’s knowledge of which was unrivalled in his time. His interest in the past and the passing was as great as in the present; and his sense of time and change, of the temporal linked with the universal, imparted depth to his vision of life.
KeywordsAgricultural Labourer Strange Story Seaside Resort Future Husband Votive Offering
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