Wessex Poems was Hardy's first collection of poetry, published after he had turned away from novel-writing, disillusioned by the savage reception Jude the Obscure had received. The publication of Wessex Poems marked the start of an extraordinary new phase in Hardy's writing career, as he was to spent the rest of his life, some thirty years, writing and publishing poetry exclusively. Here are entertaining Dorset ballads, verses set during the Napoleonic Wars, and personal poems reflecting on Hardy's life and loves. Composed throughout Hardy's life and informed by his affection for his beloved Wessex, their publication heralded the arrival of a major new poetic voice.
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