• Galia Benziman


This chapter suggests new ways of assessing Hardy’s role in the development of modern elegy. The chapter presents the cultural-historical context surrounding the transition from the excessive and ostentatious mourning rituals typical of the Victorian period to the restrained expression of grief that became prevalent towards the end of the century, followed by even further marginalisation of mourning after the Great War. Utilitarian norms and early twentieth-century psychoanalysis, which censured excessive grief as either redundant or pathological, respectively, influenced Hardy’s elegiac writing. Darwin’s ideas regarding the relationship between conservation and transformation in nature, and the theory that what becomes extinct leaves traces, were also central to Hardy’s representation of bereavement. These influences were behind Hardy’s revision of traditional elegiac conventions.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Galia Benziman
    • 1
  1. 1.Open UniversityRa’ananaIsrael

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