By F. B. Pinion
This biography comprises new disclosures and interpretations of facts, neglecting not anything major in Hardy's early years or his later lifestyles. It attracts from innumerable resources, together with all his released writings (not least the poems), biographies of him and of contemporaries, correspondence of acquaintances and buddies, Emma Hardy's diaries, and plenty of unpublished letters from her and Florence Hardy, and short heritage introductions point out how a few of Hardy's buddies prompted his occupation or enriched his life.
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Additional resources for Thomas Hardy: His Life and Friends
He specialized in Gothic architecture and in the renovation of neglected churches. After practising in Bristol, he had come to Dorchester about 1850, one of his first Dorset assignments being the restoration of his brother' s church of Piddletrenthide by 1852. Just before Hardy entered his office he had rebuilt the east end of St Peter's, Dorchester, in perpendicular style. In connection with minor alterations, completed in 1857, Hardy produced a ground plan of the church on 4 August 1856; it is a model of fine draughtsmanship.
One day, when Hardy was fourteen, a pretty girl who had passed hirn on horseback near the South Walk, just after he had come out of school, tumed and smiled at him; the next day he saw her again with an old gentleman, perhaps her father. She was a complete stranger, but he fell madly in love with her, and wandered about day after day, in the hope of seeing her again. Some of Mr Last's boarders were sympathetic, and looked out for her, but she never appeared, and it took hirn a week to recover. His recurrent propensity to imagine hirnself in love was to be the subject of mockery in The Well-Beloved, where this 'desperate attachment', with slight modifications, is one of the earliest to be recalled by the hero, Jocelyn Pierston.
When Hardy arrived he found two other apprentices, Herbert Fippard, a young man of 21 who was on the point of finishing his artides and leaving, and Henry Bastow of Bridport, in his first year and a year or so older than Hardy. Bastow and he grew very friendly, and often gave time to books when they ought to have been drawing. Hicks did not seem to mind; he was a goodnatured, almost jovial man, son of a Gloucestershire rector who had been a good dassical scholar. He knew some Hebrew, had ability in Greek, but was 'less at horne', it proved, in Latin.