Thomas Hardy

2 June 1840 – 11 January 1928


Place of birth: Stinsford, Dorset, England
Best thing about him: One of England’s major poets and novelists
Most important works: Tess of the d’Urbervilles, The Return of the Native, Jude the Obscure
Interesting facts:

  • He was awarded the Order of Merit in 1910 and had been frequently nominated for a Nobel Prize in Literature
  • The term “cliffhanger” is thought to have come from the serialization of one of his stories, in which a character is literally left hanging off a cliff
  • He was a member of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and his strong views against animal cruelty are expressed in some of his works


Thomas Hardy’s 20 most beautiful quotes:

1.”Pessimism is, in brief, playing the sure game. You cannot lose at it; you may gain. It is the only view of life in which you can never be disappointed. Having reckoned what to do in the worst possible circumstances, when better arise, as they may, life becomes child’s play. ”

2.”Time changes everything except something within us which is always surprised by change. ”

3.”Let me enjoy the earth no less because the all-enacting light that fashioned forth its loveliness had other aims than my delight. ”

4.”Well: what we gain by science is, after all, sadness, as the Preacher saith. The more we know of the laws and nature of the Universe the more ghastly a business we perceive it all to be — and the non-necessity of it. ”

5.”The value of old age depends upon the person who reaches it. To some men of early performance it is useless. To others, who are late to develop, it just enables them to finish the job.”

6.”Dialect words are those terrible marks of the beast to the truly genteel”


7.”The main object of religion is not to get a man into heaven, but to get heaven into him. ”

8.”A lover without indiscretion is no lover at all. Circumspection and devotion are a contradiction in terms.”

9.”Some folk want their luck buttered.”

10.”Aspect are within us, and who seems most kingly is king. ”

11.”If way to the better there be, it exacts a full look at the worst. ”

12.”That man’s silence is wonderful to listen to. ”

13.”If all hearts were open and all desires known — as they would be if people showed their souls — how many gapings, sighings, clenched fists, knotted brows, broad grins, and red eyes should we see in the market-place! ”


14.”Like the British Constitution, she owes her success in practice to her inconsistencies in principle.”

15.”Patience, that blending of moral courage with physical timidity. ”

16.”Once victim, always victim — that’s the law!”

17.”Fear is the mother of foresight.”

18.”A resolution to avoid an evil is seldom framed till the evil is so far advanced as to make avoidance impossible. ”

19.”And yet to every bad there is a worse.”

20.”It is difficult for a woman to define her feelings in language which is chiefly made by men to express theirs.”