Books: Poet in Self Defense

THOMAS HARDY (286 pp.)—Edmund Blunden—Macmillan ($3).

HARDY AND THE LADY FROM MADISON SQUARE (264 pp.)—Carl J. Weber—Colby ($5).

In the 18903 Thomas Hardy was at the summit of his novelist's career. Such dark-grained, tragic stories as The Return of the Native, The Mayor of Casterbridge, Tess of the D'Urbervilles had won him a place second only to George Meredith among the late Victorians. They had also won him a handsome income; Hardy, the son of a poor stonemason, earned enough to build a comfortable home in his native Dorset, where he suffered the tongue...

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