Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Maddening Crowd

The fellow above is one Thomas Hardy, born this day 1804 in Dorset, England. The son of a stonemason, Hardy was not one of the upper crust, and his formal education only lasted until the age of 16. At that age he became an apprentice to an architect, and moved to London to pursue that career in 1862. However, London was not his type of town, he was acutely aware of his (low) social status, and after five years, he moved back to Dorset. His move back was for "health reasons", and it also was at this time that he decided to devote himself to writing. And what writing he did! "Far from the Maddening Crowd," "Tess of the D'Urbervilles," "Jude the Obscure", and a whole host of other prose and poetry. It is his poetry that puts him on our hero podium for today. I "discovered" him a long, long time ago, in a place far, far, away, but "The Man he Killed" is one of the best poems I have ever read. I cannot give his career justice, and hesitate to try, but he was one fine writer. So, for all of those lovely poems, and timeless novels, Thomas Hardy (June 2nd, 1840-January 11, 1927 at the age of 87 of cardiac syncope), you are my (281st) hero of the day.

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