Thomas Hardy: life and background
Thomas Hardy was born at Higher Bockhampton, close to Dorchester, a county town in the south-west of England, on 2 June 1840. Few great writers can have had as humble a birth-place as the small, secluded cottage hidden in the trees at the end of a country lane, which is now an object of pilgrimage for many thousands of his admirers each year. He lived in that cottage for the first twenty-two years of his life, growing up in the midst of a rustic environment which was to play a large part in his great novels. A boy of sensitive awareness to the life going on around him, and blest with a remarkable retentive memory, he was in those years to acquire the experience, the knowledge, the impressions which served him so well as a writer.
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