We have seen that the crisis in rural society was not a new one, although it grew sharper in the years between Hardy’s birth and the end of the century. During this time a number of forces coalesced to make society primarily industrial and to drive many thousands of labourers into leaving the land. This meant that the countryside, and the character of its people, changed very much in order to adapt to the new conditions. The basic facts are recorded in the censuses of the time and in Royal Commission reports. These are given substance by the studies, memoirs and novels which have been looked at here.
KeywordsRural Society Central Argu Realistic Tradition Country People Bare Head
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