A Few Words About Hardy's World

The "Thomas Hardy's World" web site is the product of three seminars, jointly taught at three liberal arts colleges. Prof. Suzanne Johnson Flynn, at Gettysburg College, and Prof. Patricia O'Hara, at Franklin & Marshall College, came together to construct a syllabus which both would follow for their Thomas Hardy Seminars in the fall 1996 semester. Later, Prof. Ashton Nichols, at Dickinson College, joined the collaboration by creating a seminar which would focus on the works of both Hardy and William Wordsworth. All three seminars were linked in a number of ways. Students in all seminars were encouraged to join a Thomas Hardy listserv, an electronic bulletin board which served as a forum for students' ideas, questions, research interests or problems, etc. In addition, the faculty seminar leaders from each campus made two "video visits" to the other campuses, allowing students at each campus to benefit from the expertise of different faculty members. Finally, the faculty and students from the three seminars collaborated on the construction of this site.

During his lifetime, Hardy published 14 novels, nearly 50 short stories, a 3-volume epic, and nearly 1000 poems. Obviously, a single seminar could never suffice to cover the depth and breadth of this incredible career. Nonetheless, the seminar participants read a representative sampling of Hardy's works in an effort to understand not only his place within literary history, but also the sociological and cultural contexts of the literature. The categories into which the web site is divided represent the various interest areas of the students and faculty involved and are not meant to be exhaustive. Student reports were kept intentionally brief. They are meant to stimulate interest and point toward further research (for which reason, a brief bibliography is appended to each). All visual images not credited to a source are the personal property of Suzanne Johnson Flynn. Many thanks to William Morgan, from Illinois State University, for the loan of his many Hardy slides. Thanks also go to the Dorset County Museum for allowing us to reproduce archival images which had already appeared in other sources. And last, but certainly not least, thanks go to Charlie Ross, Jennifer Williams, and Jonathan Blake, three Gettysburg College students who at various stages helped with some of the more technical aspects of the site.

Assorted Links:

Gettysburg College's Thomas Hardy Seminar

Franklin & Marshall's Thomas Hardy Seminar

Dickinson College's Wordsworth and Hardy seminar