Thomas Hardy was bom in 1840 in a small village in Dorset, an area of southern England steeped in history. One of the local landmarks, Corfe Castle, was once home for the kings of the ancient Saxon kingdom of Wessex. Hardy chose the name Wessex for the setting of his most important novels, including Tess of the d'Urbervilles. Like the Durbeyfields in Tess. The Hardys fancied themselves descendants of a noble and ancient family line. The Dorset Hardys were presumably a branch of the Le Hardys who claimed descent from Clement Le Hardy, a fifteen-century lieutenant-governor of...
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