Thomas Hardy was born in 1840 at the Village of Upper Bochampton. He was the child of a country stonemason. Hardy was the third Thomas of his family. His mothers maiden name was Jemima Hand and she and her husband let Hardy to have an unusually happy childhood. His early years were a seed-bed to his later creative development. His mother knew what real poverty was when she was young because she lost her father. Hardy said she read every book she could lay her hands on and she grew up to be a woman of ability, judgment, and an energy that might have carried her to incalculable issues! Many thought she was the dominant influence in Hardys life but his father was a man of character also. Even though he didnt possess the art of enriching himself by business, he was a fine craftsman, and a lover of music
As a young child, Hardy mastered the violin learning over 100 tunes. He also sang in the Stansford Church every Sunday. It seems to be that Hardy and his parents had a good relationship. In 1867 Hardy met Tryphena Sparks who was 16 and a daughter to a family related to his. She was intelligent and made her living as a teacher. She bore a child in 1868 and Hardy fell deeply in love with her. But in 1872 she broke his heart by returning her engagement ring. She then remarried and had two more children before dying in 1890. Tryphena had a great influence on his writing. On March 7, 1870 Hardy took an architectural trip to a church named St. Juliot. He stayed at the rectory and met the rectors sister-in-law, Emma Lavinia Gifford. She was younger and attractive, and they walked hand in hand through the countryside. They fell half in love and Hardy made many trips back to St. Juliot. In 1874 they were married and proceeded to wander about Europe until they settled in Sturminster Newton. After two years there Hardy decided to move back to London. Years later he looked back on those two years as their happiest time together.
Hardy seemed to live a peaceful and successful life, but there was a "pattern of storm beneath the tranquility." During these three decades of creation, public acclaim, and critical praise, his private life was overshadowed by what appeared to be his wifes fall to insanity. She was a victim of delusions, one of her biggest delusions is that she married a lesser man than she deserved. She also believed that she had written Hardys work and he stole them from her to be published for himself. She also insulted him ...