Hardy’s Views on Christianity

  • Harold Orel


A man’s relationship to his God, however private he may wish it to remain, invites scrutiny if it becomes the subject-matter of his art. The autobiographical substratum of much of Hardy’s verse — what Hardy called the ‘personal particulars’ of his life — is inescapable, partly because Hardy claimed for himself the privilege of recording in verse views that he did not choose to express in novels, and partly because Hardy believed that his controversial views would excite fewer of the ‘literary contortionists’ who had attacked the appearance of each new novel. ‘If Galileo had said in verse that the world moved, the Inquisition might have let him alone’, he wrote dryly on 17 October 1896, at about the time he was renouncing the craft of novel-writing.1 His concern with the formal Christianity he did not intellectually believe in became even more marked in his creative efforts after that date; poems seeking to define the grounds of a true Christian’s faith in an increasingly non-Christian world may be found in every volume of verse that he published.


British Museum Christian Faith Late Lyric Christian Religion Sacrificial Victim 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 6.
    Kenneth Phelps, Annotations by Thomas Hardy in his Bibles and Prayer-Book (St Peter Port, Guernsey: Toucan Press, 1966) passim.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Harold Orel 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harold Orel

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations