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Wessex Poems

By: Thomas Hardy

Wessex Poems and Other Verses (often referred to simply as Wessex Poems) is a collection of fifty-one poems set against the bleak and forbidding Dorset landscape by English writer Thomas Hardy. It was first published in 1898 by New York: Harper, ISBN 1-58734-021-6, and contained a number of illustrations by the author himself.

The collection met a broadly hostile reception, critics being accustomed to Hardy as a (controversial) writer of prose alone. Hardy himself was taken aback by the failure to recognise his dry humour, as in the (slightly bawdy) 'Bride-Night Fire'.  


On a more personal note, his wife Emma disliked the section consisting of love lyrics to various recipients; and especially 'The Ivy Wife', which she felt aimed at her. 

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Hardy wrote poetry throughout his life and regarded himself primarily as a poet, his first collection was not published until 1898. Initially, he gained fame as the author of novels such as Far from t...

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