Wessex Tales, Paperback
4.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


Introduction and Notes by Michael Irwin, Professor of English Literature, University of Kent at Canterbury.

Wessex Tales was the first collection of Hardy's short stories, and they reflect the experience of a novelist at the height of his powers.

These seven tales, in which characters and scenes are imbued with a haunting realism, show considerable diversity of content, form and style, and range from fantasy to realism and from tragedy to comedy.

In insisting on the unusual nature of any story worth the telling, and with his gift for irony and compassion, Hardy achieves more in the genre of the short story than any English novelist before him.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224 pages, maps
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9781853262692


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Preparing for a trip to South-West England I have lately been reading and watching Thomas Hardy material. His Wessex Stories, a series of magazine short stories, are brilliant, what a story teller he is, these are not your average run-of-the-mill stories, instead Hardy manages to create many-faceted characters even in his short stories, in vivid landscapes, lots of twists-of-the-tale, and very little moralising, except what comes with the time the stories are written and for what purpose they were written. It is funny to read Hardy's notes to the last short story, where he ostensibly has been forced to write a moralising ending that he disagrees with. I enjoyed every single one of the short stories, too bad he didn't write so many others. Look forward to reading his novels.

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