Bibliography: pages 240-258.This thesis arises from the conviction that the Hardyan quality of mind, a mind at once tentative and courageous, is of supreme importance in our time and is most distinctly and decisively present in Hardy's short poems. The chief aim of this thesis has been to offer students of Hardy thematic and aesthetic guidelines for reading his poems so as to encounter that quality of mind first-hand. In order to develop those guidelines, I have rooted them in primary materials and biographical details germane to demonstrating Hardy's achievement as a poet. The main title of this thesis, for instance, is meant to emphasise the complex relationship between the poet and the man: culled from the preface of his third volume of verse, Time's Laughingstocks and Other Verses, the simple yet apposite phrase, "penned in the first person," is the invention of Hardy himself
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