In Thomas Hardy: Selected Poems Tim Armstrong brings together over 180 poems in the first comprehensively annotated selection of Hardy's poetry.
Unlike most previous selections, this edition preserves the shape of the poet's career by presenting the poems in the order in which they appeared in the Collected Poems of 1930, rather than re-ordering them thematically.
Head notes to each poem give the reader information about its composition, publication, sources and metrical scheme; on-the-page notes list significant variants in Hardy's manuscripts, point out literary and other allusions, and give explanatory glosses.
An appendix contains a selection of relevant passages from Hardy's notebooks, letters, and autobiography; and a bibliography suggests further reading. Tim Armstrong's critical Introduction discusses Hardy's career, his poetics, his use of memory and allusion and examines his position in the context of Victorian debates on aesthetics and belief.
The generous selection of poems includes many lesser-known poems as well as those which have received most critical commentary, and the important elegiac sequence 'Poems of 1912-13' is included in its entirety.