University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Thomas Hardy:

An Inventory of His Collection at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Hardy, Thomas, 1840-1928
Title: Thomas Hardy Collection
Dates: 1867-1937
Abstract: The Thomas Hardy Collection contains manuscript works and correspondence by Hardy as well as Hardy-related materials created by others, ranging in date from 1867 to 1937.
Extent: 2 boxes, 1 galley folder (gf), 3 oversize folders (osf) (.84 linear feet)
Language: English
Repository: The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center

Biographical Sketch

Thomas Hardy was born on 2 June 1840 in Higher Bockhampton, Dorset, England to stonemason Thomas Hardy and his wife Jemima. He was taught at home by his mother and at the local school in Bockhampton until he was sent to school at Dorchester in 1850, where he spent six years learning Latin and French among other subjects. Unable to pursue a scholarly or clerical career, from 1856 to 1862 he was apprenticed to a local architect who specialized in church restoration.

Hardy left for London in 1862 and spent five years working as an assistant to architect Arthur Blomfield. While in London Hardy began writing poetry, and his satirical sketch "How I Built Myself a House" won a prize and was published in 1865. His first attempt at a novel was not published, although the publisher Macmillan encouraged him to keep writing.

Hardy returned to Bockhampton in 1867 and resumed architectural work. In 1870, while restoring a church in St. Juliot, he met Emma Lavinia Gifford, the rector's sister-in-law, whom he married in 1874. During this period, his first novel Desperate Remedies (1871) was published anonymously, followed by Under the Greenwood Tree (1872), A Pair of Blue Eyes (1873), and his successes Far from the Madding Crowd (1874) and The Return of the Native (1878).

Hardy and Emma settled in Dorchester in 1885 at Max Gate, a large villa that Hardy designed and in which he lived for the rest of his life. His literary popularity continued with The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886), but his final two novels, Tess of the d'Urbervilles (1891) and Jude the Obscure (1895), evoked controversy. Disturbed by the public uproar, Hardy returned to writing poetry, collecting his earlier poems in Wessex Poems (1898) and publishing an epic drama in blank verse, The Dynasts, in three parts (1904-1908). Emma Hardy died suddenly in 1912 and prompted the poems that appeared in Poems 1912-13 (1913). In 1914, Hardy married his secretary, Florence Emily Dugdale.

During his long life, Hardy wrote 14 novels, more than 40 short stories, over 900 poems, two dramas, and also worked on his autobiography from 1920-1927. He became ill with pleurisy in 1927 and died at Max Gate at the age of 87 on 11 January 1928. A compromise arrangement between the family and Hardy's literary executor resulted in Hardy's remains being buried in the Poet's Corner in Westminster Abbey in London, except for his heart, which was buried alongside his first wife Emma in Dorchester.

Scope and Contents

The Thomas Hardy Collection contains manuscript works and correspondence by Hardy as well as Hardy-related materials created by others, ranging in date from 1867 to 1937. The Collection is arranged in three series: I. Works by Thomas Hardy, 1867-1922, undated; II. Correspondence by or to Thomas Hardy, 1880-1928; and III. Works and Correspondence re Thomas Hardy, 1890-1937. This collection was previously accessible through a card catalog, but has been recataloged as part of a retrospective conversion project.

The Works series contains manuscripts mainly of poetry by Hardy, but also includes some of his stories, an article on Stonehenge, a paper on church restoration, a dramatic version of Tess of the d'Urbervilles, a play synopsis for Jude the Obscure, an epilogue to The Dynasts, and a few other pieces. In addition to literary works, there are also 20 architectural drawings by Hardy for the restoration of St. Juliot's Church, Cornwall, dating from 1867-1870. The titles of all works appear in the Index of Works in this finding aid. A few manuscripts were originally accompanied by letters and these remain in place.

Correspondence present in Series II. consists mainly of letters written by Hardy to multiple recipients. The largest groups of these letters were written to banker, politician, and author Sir Edward Robert Pearce Edgcumbe; playwright St. John Greer Ervine; publisher and author Sir Newman Flower; jurist and historian Frederic Harrison; and poet Sir Henry John Newbolt. A small number of letters written to Hardy are also present. All correspondent names are included in the Index of Correspondents included in this finding aid.

The final series is made up largely of correspondence relating to Thomas Hardy and includes a few letters either written by or received by his wives Emma or Florence. Several of the letters were written to Howard Bliss. All of the correspondent names in this series are likewise included in the Index of Correspondents. Two drawings by Sir William Nicholson for a poster for a production of The Dynasts are also present in this series.



Open for research

Related Material

Manuscript items by Thomas Hardy are included in numerous other manuscript collections at the Ransom Center: Sir Walter Besant, Edmund Blunden, Sir Sydney Carlyle Cockerell, Rupert Croft-Cooke, St. John Greer Ervine, Eugene Field, Edward Garnett, Richard Garnett, J. L. Garvin, Florence Emily Hardy, Harpers, Richard Le Gallienne, Marie Adelaide Belloc Lowndes, John Masefield, Edgar Lee Masters, Ottoline Morrell, Claude Houghton Oldfield, Leonidas Warren Payne, PEN, J. B. Priestley, Rolfe Arnold Scott-James, George Bernard Shaw, Arthur Symons, Times (London), George Macaulay Trevelyan, Barrett Wilson, T. J. Wise, and Robert Lee Wolff. In addition to first editions of most of Hardy's books, the Center's Library also holds a number of volumes from Hardy's own library. Photographs of Hardy are included in the Literary File in the Photography Collection and a number of drawings and portrait busts of Hardy by artists such as George Barker, Max Beerbohm, Augustus John, Charles Ricketts, and Alfred Wolmark are present in the Art Collection. The Personal Effects Collection includes Emma Hardy's calling card and John Cowper Powys' framed reproduction of a drawing of Thomas Hardy by William Strange. The Vertical File Collection includes printed ephemera concerning Hardy in the files for Edmund Blunden, St. John Greer Ervine, Thomas Hardy, and John Masefield.

Among the many repositories holding additional Hardy manuscripts are: Aberdeen University Library; Birmingham City Museum; Bodleian Library, Oxford University; British Library; Colby College; Dorset County Museum; Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; Houghton Library at Harvard University; Henry E. Huntington Library; Library of Congress; Magdalene College, Cambridge; Manchester Central Library; Pierpont Morgan Library; National Library of Scotland; New York Public Library; New York University; Queen's College, Oxford University; John Rylands Library, Manchester; State University of New York, Buffalo; University College, Dublin; University of California, Berkeley; University of California, Los Angeles; University of Leeds; and Yale University.

Administrative Information


Purchases, 1961-1973 (R850, R1452, R4228, R5374)

Processed by:

Michael Ramsey, 2010


Diniejko, Andrzej. "Thomas Hardy. A Biographical Sketch." The Victorian Web, (accessed 22 October 2010).

"Thomas Hardy." Wikipedia, (accessed 22 October 2010).

Container List

Series I. Works by Thomas Hardy, 1867-1922, undated

1.1 A-L
1.2 "An Ancient Earthwork," handwritten manuscript with revisions, 15 pages; bound with letter and postcard, 1928
1.3 "Before Marching and After," signed handwritten manuscript, 1 page, September 1915; bound with Hardy letter and printed text
1.4 "The Bird-catcher's Boy," signed handwritten manuscript, 4 pages, undated, bound; galley proof with handwritten corrections, 1 page, undated
1.5 "The Duke's Reappearance," signed handwritten manuscript, 10 pages, March 1912; bound with Hardy letter
1.6 "Lines spoken by Miss Ada Rehan on behalf of Mrs. Jeune's Holiday Fund for poor city children," signed handwritten manuscript with revisions, July 1890, 1 page
1 "The Lost Pyx," galley proofs with handwritten corrections, 1 page, undated
1.7 M-Z
1 "Memories of Church Restoration," galley proof with handwritten revisions, 1 page, undated
1.8 "Saturday Night in Arcady," handwritten manuscript with revisions, 8 pages, undated
1.9 "Sir John Horseleigh, Knight," handwritten manuscript, bound, 15 pages, undated
St. Juliot's Church, Cornwall, architectural drawings in pencil, ink, and watercolor, 20 pages, 1867-1870
8 April 1867
1 No. 1, south elevation and plan
No. 2, east elevation, west elevation, and north elevation
No. 3, transverse section looking east and longitudinal section looking north
No. 5, detail of aisle roof and longitudinal section
2 17 May 1867, mason's working drawings, window sections
2 May 1870
1 No. 1, south elevation and floorplan
No. 2, west elevation, transverse section, and east elevation
No. 3, north elevation and longitudinal section
No. 4, south elevation and plan
No. 5, east elevation and west elevation
No. 6, transverse section looking east and north elevation
No. 7, transverse section looking west and longitudinal section
No. 8, west elevation (amended) and portion of plan showing amended position to be built on old foundation
Undated drawings
2 Detail of window in west end of nave
Details of window on north side
Details for restoration of screen
3 No. 9, details of turret staircase and section of tower walls
No. 10, details of pinnacle to tower, window in tower, and credence
No. 11, details to roof
No. 12, details to upper part of tower
1.10 Tess of the D'Urbervilles: a tragedy in five acts and an after-scene, signed typescript with handwritten corrections, acting script, 83 pages, undated

Series II. Correspondence by or to Thomas Hardy, 1880-1928

1.11 Unidentified; A-E
1.12 Edgcumbe, Edward Robert Pearce, Sir, 17 items, 1888-1927, notes by Edgcumbe on several letters
1.13 Ervine, St. John Greer, 16 items, 1921-1927
2.1 F-L
2.2 Flower, Newman, Sir, 11 items, 1897-1928
2.3 Harrison, Frederic, 19 items, 1888-1922
2.4 M-R
2.5 Newbolt, Henry John, Sir, 27 items, 1902-1927
2.6 S-V
2.7 W-Z
2.8 A-Z

Series III. Works and Correspondence re Thomas Hardy, 1890-1937

2.9 A-Z
2.10 Bliss, Howard, 6 items, 1926-1928
2.11 Hardy, Emma Lavinia Gifford, 6 items, 1895-1910
2.12 Hardy, Florence Emily Dugdale, 9 items, 1925-1935
2.13 Heath, Frank R., Dorchester (Dorset) and its Surroundings, proof copy with handwritten revisions by Thomas Hardy, 1905-1906
2.14 Nicholson, William, Sir, poster sketch for a production of The Dynasts, pencil drawing and pastel and watercolor drawing, 1914
2.15 Unidentified

Index of Works

  • "An Ancient Earthwork"--1.2
  • "An Ancient to Ancients"--1.1
  • "And There Was a Great Calm"--1.1
  • "At the War Office after a Bloody Battle"--1.1
  • "At the War Office, London"--see "At the War Office after a Bloody Battle"
  • "Before Marching and After"--1.3
  • "The Bird-catcher's Boy"--1.4
  • "Beyond the Last Lamp"--see "Night in a Suburb"
  • "Donaghadee"--1.1
  • "The Duke's Reappearance"--1.5
  • Epilogue to The Dynasts--1.1
  • Excerpt from 1 Cor. XIV. 20--1.1
  • Excerpt from The Famous Tragedy of Queen of Cornwall--1.1
  • Foreword to Dorchester (Dorset), and its Surroundings--1.1
  • "He Did Not Know Me"--1.1
  • "A Hundred Years Since"--1.1
  • "Hussar's Song: 'Budmouth Dears'"--see "Song: Budmouth Dears"
  • "In the Marquee"--1.1
  • "In the Time of War and Tumults"--1.1
  • "In Time of Wars and Tumults"--see "In the Time of War and Tumults"
  • Jude [the Obscure] as a Play (synopsis)--1.1
  • "Lines spoken by Miss Ada Rehan on behalf of Mrs. Jeune's Holiday fund for poor city children"--1.6
  • "The Lost Pyx"--gf 1
  • "Master John Horseleigh, Knight"--see "Sir John Horseleigh, Knight"
  • "Memories of Church Restoration"--1.7, gf 1
  • "Moments of Vision"--1.7
  • "New Year's Eve"--1.7
  • "Night in a Suburb"--1.7
  • Note on "The Melancholy Hussar of the German Legion"--1.7
  • Petition addressed to David Lloyd George--1.7
  • "The Pity of It"--1.7
  • "The Rejected Member's Wife"--see "The Rejected One's Wife"
  • "The Rejected One's Wife"--1.7
  • "Saturday Night in Arcady"--1.8
  • "Shall Stonehenge Go?"--1.7
  • "Sir John Horseleigh, Knight--1.9"
  • "Song: Budmouth Dears"--1.7
  • "[Song of the Soldiers] Men who March away"--1.7
  • St. Juliot's Church, Cornwall (architectural drawings)--osf 1-3
  • "A Tryst at an Ancient Earthwork"--see "An Ancient Earthwork"
  • Tess of the D'Urbervilles--see "Saturday Night in Arcady"
  • Tess of the D'Urbervilles (play)--1.10
  • "That Kiss in the Dark"--1.7
  • "The Woman I Met"--1.7

Index of Correspondents

  • Abercrombie, Lascelles, 1881-1938--1.11 (3 from Thomas Hardy)
  • The Academy--1.11 (1 from Thomas Hardy to the editor)
  • Allen, Grant, 1848-1899--1.11 (1 from Thomas Hardy); 2.8 (2 to Thomas Hardy)
  • Allhusen, Dorothy--1.11 (1 from Thomas Hardy)
  • Ayscough, John, 1858-1928--1.11 (1 from Thomas Hardy)
  • Barclay, Thomas, Sir, 1853-1941--1.11 (1 from Thomas Hardy to the chairman)
  • Barrie, J. M. (James Matthew), 1860-1937--2.8 (1 to Thomas Hardy)
  • Bebbington, William George--2.9 (1 to unidentified recipient)
  • Benson, Arthur Christopher, 1862-1925--1.11 (3 from Thomas Hardy)
  • Besant, Walter, Sir, 1836-1901--1.11 (1 from Thomas Hardy); 2.8 (1 to Thomas Hardy)
  • Bowker, R. R. (Richard Rogers), 1848-1933--2.8 (1 to Thomas Hardy)
  • Bulloch, John Malcom--1.11 (2 from Thomas Hardy)
  • Clodd, Edward, 1840-1930--1.5 (1 from Thomas Hardy); 2.9 (1 to John Malcolm Bulloch)
  • Cockerell, Sydney Carlyle, Sir, 1867-1962--1.2 (1 to Howard Bliss); (1 to unidentified recipient)
  • Colles, William Morris, 1855-1926--1.11 (2 from Thomas Hardy)
  • Collins, Vere H. (Vere Henry), b. 1872--1.11 (2 from Thomas Hardy)
  • Compton-Rickett, Arthur, 1869-1937--1.11 (1 from Thomas Hardy)
  • The Daily News--1.11 (1 from Thomas Hardy)
  • Davies, W. H. (William Henry) 1871-1940--1.11 (1 from Thomas Hardy)
  • Daly, Augustin, 1838-1899--2.9 (1 to Mrs. Jeune)
  • Dickens, Arthur F.--1.11 (1 from Thomas Hardy); 2.8 (1 to Thomas Hardy)
  • Dobson, Austin, 1840-1921--1.11 (1 from Thomas Hardy)
  • Doeg, W. H.--1.11 (1 from Thomas Hardy)
  • Dugdale, Constance--1.3 (1 from Thomas Hardy)
  • Dunn, J. Nicol--1.11 (1 from Thomas Hardy)
  • Edgcumbe, Edward Robert Pearce, Sir, b. 1851--1.12 (17 from Thomas Hardy); 2.8 (1 to Thomas Hardy)
  • Ervine, St. John G. (St. John Greer), 1883-1971--1.13 (16 from Thomas Hardy)
  • Flower, Newman, Sir, 1879-1964--2.2 (14 from Thomas Hardy); 2.9 (1 to John Malcolm Bulloch)
  • Ford, Ford Maddox, 1873-1939--2.1 (1 from Thomas Hardy)
  • Gaskell, Catherine Wallop Milnes--2.9 (1 to Arthur William Evans)
  • Gosse, Edmund, 1849-1928--2.1 (1 from Thomas Hardy)
  • Granville-Barker, Harley, 1877-1946--2.1 (2 from Thomas Hardy)
  • Greenhill, G. (George), Sir, 1847-1927--2.1 (1 from Thomas Hardy)
  • Hankey, N.--2.12 (1 to Florence Emily Hardy)
  • Hardy, Florence Emily, 1881-1937--2.12 (1 to John Malcolm Bulloch); (1 to St. John Greer Ervine); (4 to Paul Lemplerly); (1 to Sir Henry Newbolt)
  • Hardy, Henry, Rev., 1864-1933--2.1 (1 from Thomas Hardy)
  • Harrison, Austin, 1873-1928--2.1 (8 from Thomas Hardy)
  • Harrison, Frederic, 1831-1923--2.3 (20 from Thomas Hardy); 2.8 (1 to Thomas Hardy)
  • Heath, Frank R.--2.1 (2 from Thomas Hardy)
  • Heath, Sidney, b. 1872--2.1 (1 from Thomas Hardy)
  • Henley, William Ernest, 1849-1903--2.1 (2 from Thomas Hardy); 2.8 (1 to Thomas Hardy)
  • Hobbes, John Oliver, 1867-1906--2.8 (1 to Thomas Hardy); 2.11 (4 to Emma Lavinia Gifford Hardy)
  • Hodges, Wilfrid F.--2.1 (1 from Thomas Hardy)
  • Jeune, Susan Mary Elizabeth Stewart-Mackenzie, Lady--2.8 (1 to Thomas Hardy)
  • Johnson, Lionel Pigot, 1867-1902--2.1 (1 from Thomas Hardy); 2.9 (6 to John Lane)
  • Lafontaine, Alfred de--2.1 (1 from Thomas Hardy)
  • Lane, John, 1854-1925--2.1 (5 from Thomas Hardy)
  • Le Gallienne, Richard, 1866-1947--2.1 (1 from Thomas Hardy)
  • Ling, Henry--2.9 (1 to Clement King Shorter)
  • Locker-Lampson, Frederick, 1821-1895--2.1 (1 from Thomas Hardy)
  • Mackail, Denis George, b. 1892--2.12 (1 to Florence Emily Hardy)
  • Milman, Lena--2.4 (1 from Thomas Hardy)
  • Newbolt, Henry John, Sir, 1862-1938--2.5 (26 from Thomas Hardy); 2.8 (11 to Thomas Hardy); 2.11 (1 to Emma Lavinia Gifford Hardy)
  • Nichols, Robert Malise Bowyer, 1893-1944--2.4 (1 from Thomas Hardy)
  • Nicholson, William, 1872-1949--2.14 (1 to Harley Granville-Barker)
  • Noel, Roden, 1834-1894--2.4 (5 from Thomas Hardy); 2.8 (5 to Thomas Hardy)
  • Noyes, Alfred, 1880-1958--2.4 (1 from Thomas Hardy)
  • Osgood, James R. (James Ripley), 1836-1892--2.4 (1 from Thomas Hardy)
  • Patmore, Coventry, 1823-1896--2.4 (1 from Thomas Hardy)
  • Raymond, Walter, 1852-1931--2.4 (1 from Thomas Hardy)
  • Read, Alice M.--2.10 (1 to Howard Bliss)
  • Robins, Elizabeth, 1862-1952--2.4 (2 from Thomas Hardy)
  • Sampson Low, Marston & Company--2.6 (1 from Thomas Hardy to Mr. Marston)
  • Shorter, Clement King, 1857-1926--2.6 (5 from Thomas Hardy); 2.8 (1 to Thomas Hardy); 2.9 (1 to unidentified recipient)
  • Smith, R. Bosworth (Reginald Bosworth), 1839-1908--2.6 (2 from Thomas Hardy)
  • Squire, John Collings, Sir, 1884-1958--2.6 (4 from Thomas Hardy)
  • Strachey, Lytton, 1880-1932--2.6 (1 from Thomas Hardy)
  • Thomas, Edward, 1878-1917--2.6 (1 from Thomas Hardy)
  • Ward, Dorothy M.--2.10 (1 to Howard Bliss)
  • Ward, Humphry, Mrs., 1851-1920--2.7 (2 from Thomas Hardy)
  • Ward, Thomas Humphry, 1845-1926--2.7 (5 from Thomas Hardy)
  • Watson, Maureen--2.10 (3 to Howard Bliss)
  • Watson, Rosamund Marriott, 1863-1911--2.7 (1 from Thomas Hardy)
  • Watson, William, 1858-1935--2.7 (4 from Thomas Hardy)
  • Watts-Dunton, Clara--2.11 (1 to Emma Lavinia Gifford Hardy); 2.12 (1 to Florence Emily Hardy)
  • Watts-Dunton, Theodore, 1832-1914--2.7 (3 from Thomas Hardy)
  • W. F. Tillotson and Son--2.7 (2 from Thomas Hardy)
  • Wilson, Rathmell, b. 1883--2.7 (2 from Thomas Hardy)
  • Windle, Bertram Coghill Alan, Sir, 1858-1929--2.7 (1 from Thomas Hardy)
  • Wise, Thomas James, 1859-1937--2.10 (1 to Howard Bliss)
  • The World--2.7 (1 from Thomas Hardy to the critic)
  • Young, James Carleton, 1856-1918--2.7 (1 from Thomas Hardy)
  • Unidentified author--2.8 (1 to Thomas Hardy)
  • Unidentified recipients--1.11 (2 from Thomas Hardy)