Editing Hardy’s Novels

  • Dale Kramer
Part of the Macmillan Literary Annuals book series (MLA)


In a comment in the first volume of this Annual about the first critical edition of a Hardy novel, my Clarendon edition of The Woodlanders (1981), Richard H. Taylor noted that ‘the Oxford University Press has sought to devise no common editorial policy for this and the planned editions of Tess and UGT; nor is there a commitment to extend the series to other novels’.1 In the years since Taylor’s remark, the situation has not changed concerning a possible complete Hardy critical edition; but to mark two century-points of the existence of The Woodlanders (I am writing in 1985, a hundred years after Hardy began to develop ideas for the novel; this essay is to be published in 1987, a round century after the novel’s first appearance in book-form) it seems reasonable to address, both in specifics and more broadly, the bearing my edition may have upon a complete critical edition of Hardy’s novels.


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  1. 1.
    Taylor, ‘A Survey of Recent Hardy Studies’, Thomas Hardy Annual No. 1 (London: Macmillan, 1982) p. 155.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Schweik, ‘In Wand’ring Mazes Found: Hardy’s Poetic Texts’, Review, VI (1984) 175.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    See, for example, Robert C. Schweik and Michael Piret, ‘Editing Hardy’, The Browning Institute Studies, IX (1981) 15–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Kramer, ‘Accidentals Revisions in the Printer’s Copy for Thomas Hardy’s Wessex Edition’, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, LXXI (1977) 515–27. This printer’s copy, a 1906 printing of the 1903 Uniform Edition, is in the Dorset County Museum. Written on its pages are numerous revisions in both substantives and accidentals.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    These dissertations are critical editions of Tess of the d’Urbervilles (1974) and Under the Greenwood Tree (1973), respectively. Some of Gatrell’s arguments are given also in ‘Hardy, House-Style, and the Aesthetics of Punctuation’ in Anne Smith (ed.), The Novels of Thomas Hardy (London: Vision Press, 1979) pp. 169–92.Google Scholar
  6. 7.
    Kramer, ‘Revisions and Vision: Thomas Hardy’s The Woodlanders’, Bulletin of the New York Public Library, LXXV (1971) 195–230, 248–87.Google Scholar
  7. 8.
    Hardy occasionally allows to remain within his text an outright error involving time of day, a date, or a character’s name (see Robert C. Schweik, ‘An Error in the ‘Text of Hardy’s Far From the Madding Crowd’ CLQ, Ser. VII [1966] 269); and these oversights I think can be corrected without violating the general principle of not inserting an editor’s judgment between a writer’s idea and the writer’s express articulation of that idea.Google Scholar
  8. 12.
    Kramer, ‘Two “New” Texts of Thomas Hardy’s The Woodlanders’, Studies in Bibliography, xx (1967) 135–50.Google Scholar
  9. 14.
    Kramer, ‘A Query Concerning the Handwriting in Hardy’s Manuscripts’, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, LVII (1963) 357–60.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Norman Page 1987

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  • Dale Kramer

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