Watching the full-starred heavens that winter sees
Will this thought rise on those who will meet my face no more,
'He was one who had an eye for such mysteries'?”—Thomas Hardy, “Afterwards”
Having ceased writing novels 30 years before, British novelist Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) was still writing poetry well into his eighties. He died on this date in 1928, age 88, in Dorchester.
Whether in poetry or fiction, his characters are often defeated by Fate. Though he lived, very consciously, without the consolations of religion, Hardy himself held on, until he had become the Grand Old Man of English Letters, a chronicler of melancholy who would influence the likes of Frost, Larkin and Hughes, to name a few.