• C. H. Salter


The actual dramatic dates of the main actions of most of Hardy’s novels and short stories are long anterior to the dates of publication, and often vague. Under the Greenwood Tree is “intended to be a fairly true picture … of fifty to sixty years ago”; The Return happens “between 1840 and 1850”; The Trumpet Major about 1805; The Mayor about 1850; The Woodlanders both about 1858 and about 1865. Of the Wessex Tales “The Three Strangers” is “fifty years ago”; “A Tradition of Eighteen Hundred and Four” explicit in the title; “The Melancholy Hussar” “ninety years ago”; “The Withered Arm” 1825; “Fellow-Townsmen” “five-and-thirty years ago”; and “The Distracted Preacher” “founded on certain smuggling exploits that occurred between 1825 and 1830”; of “Interlopers at the Knap” we only know they interloped “some few years ago”.


Moral Norm Civilise Life Folk Culture Artistic Gymnastic Hardy Comment 
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© C. H. Salter 1981

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