Hardy's Wessex
see also the Literary Map
Thomas Hardy (1840 - 1928)

Under the Greenwood Tree (1872)
The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886)
Tess of the D'Urbevilles (1891)
Jude the Obscure (1896)

Hardy's fiction and poetry is firmly fixed in landscape with which he was most familiar - Dorset and environs - having been born at Bockhampton in Dorset, and practised as an architect locally. He renamed places with which he was familiar but sometimes retained the names of larger settlements (Southampton, Portsmouth). Note that real names and fictitous names are distinguished by different type faces.


The Map of Hardy's Wessex from the Macmillan edition of Under the Greenwood Tree , London 1929, measuring 14 x 10cms and here hugely enlarged to show detail and cartographic skills. Designer anonymous.


Robert Gittings, The Young Hardy , Penguin Harmondsworth 1978
Peter Widdowson, Hardy in History, Routledge, London , 1989

The Thomas Hardy Society issues a series of pamphlets that propose walks around the Dorset landscape with Hardy's texts in mind, eg The Country of The Mayor of Casterbridge , Dorchester 1974.

Visit also the Dorset County Museum for the Hardy display and that of William Barnes.