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Thomas Hardy (Writer)
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    (June 2, 1840-January 11, 1928)
    Wrote 'Far From the Madding Crowd (1874),' 'The Return of the Native (1878),' 'The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886),' 'Wessex Tales (1888),' 'Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1891),' 'Jude the Obscure (1895),' 'Wessex Poems (1898)' and 'A Changed Man (1913)'
    His books are pessimistic and depressing.
    'Jude the Obscure' is about a couple whose small children all die in a gruesome murder-suicide (sounds like a real barrel of laughs).
    He shocked his stuffy Victorian readers with his tragic, violent stories.
    His books were burned in public.
    He married a woman 40 years his junior.
    He once saw Charles Dickens having lunch in a cafe, but was too chicken to talk to him.
    His book 'Far From the Madding Crowd' is often mistakenly called "Far From the Maddening Crowd.'
    He played the violin.
    Unlike many writers of his time, he wrote in simple, realistic language.
    'Jude the Obscure' was made into a good (if depressing) movie with Christopher Eccleston and Kate Winslet.
    After he died, some family members said he was impotent (nice family!).
    His family and executor argued about where his body would be buried.
    As a result, his heart was cut out and buried in a different place than his ashes.
    There are rumors that the heart was partially eaten by a cat in the interim.
    The city of Dorset brews Thomas Hardy Ale in his honor, all bottles are individually numbered.

Credit: Wieland Kalligaro

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