Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy was an English novelist and poet of the Victorian era, known for his works that highlighted the social constraints and rural backdrop of the time. His novels include 'Tess of the d'Urbervilles', 'Far from the Madding Crowd', and 'The Mayor of Casterbridge', which are considered classics of English literature. Hardy's writing is characterized by its pessimism, tragic themes, and keen exploration of human character.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. Tess of the d'Urbervilles

    This is a tragic tale of a young woman named Tess who comes from a poor family in rural England. Tess is sent to work for a wealthy family, where she is seduced by a man who abandons her after she becomes pregnant. The baby dies, and Tess is ostracized by her community. She falls in love with a kind man, but when she confesses her past, he rejects her. Desperate and heartbroken, Tess murders her former seducer and is eventually captured and executed. The novel explores themes of fate, injustice, and the oppressive sexual morals of its time.

    The 82nd Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. Jude the Obscure

    This novel tells the story of Jude Fawley, a working-class young man who dreams of becoming a scholar. The traditional class structure in 19th-century England prevents him from realizing his dream and his only solace is his love for his cousin, Sue Bridehead. Their scandalous relationship and the tragic events that follow form the heart of the narrative, which explores themes of love, class, religion, and morality.

    The 231st Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. The Mayor of Casterbridge

    The Mayor of Casterbridge is a tragic novel set in the fictional town of Casterbridge, based on Dorchester in the English county of Dorset. The story follows the life of Michael Henchard, a skilled hay-trusser who, in a fit of drunken anger, sells his wife and daughter at a fair. When he sobers up, he is filled with regret and swears off alcohol for 21 years. He works hard and eventually becomes a successful businessman and the mayor of Casterbridge. However, his past returns to haunt him when his wife and daughter come back into his life, leading to a series of events that result in his downfall.

    The 253rd Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. The Return of the Native

    This classic novel is set in the rustic rural backdrop of Egdon Heath and revolves around the life of Clym Yeobright, a successful diamond merchant who returns to his native land from Paris. His return sparks a chain of events involving love, ambition, betrayal, and tragedy. His love interest, Eustacia Vye, dreams of escaping the monotonous rural life, while his mother disapproves of their relationship. The novel explores the themes of love, fate, chance, and the clash between individuals' aspirations and societal expectations.

    The 386th Greatest Book of All Time
  5. 5. Far from the Madding Crowd

    Set in rural England, the novel follows the story of Bathsheba Everdene, a young and independent woman who inherits her uncle's farm. She becomes the object of affection for three very different men: Gabriel Oak, a sheep farmer; Sergeant Frank Troy, a reckless soldier; and William Boldwood, a prosperous and mature bachelor. The narrative explores love, honor, and betrayal against a backdrop of the changing social and economic landscape of 19th century England.

    The 433rd Greatest Book of All Time
  6. 6. Poems Of Thomas Hardy

    The collection presents a poignant exploration of the human condition, nature, and the passage of time through the lens of one of the Victorian era's most profound literary figures. The poems delve into themes of love, loss, and the inexorable march of change, often set against the backdrop of the English countryside. The poet's mastery of language and form is evident as he weaves together the rustic with the philosophical, offering readers a reflective and deeply emotional journey through his verse. The work stands as a testament to the enduring power of poetry to capture the complexities of life and the depths of human emotion.

    The 1325th Greatest Book of All Time
  7. 7. The Woodlanders

    Set in the rural backdrop of Little Hintock, the novel delves into the intertwined lives of its inhabitants, where class and social ambition complicate personal relationships. At its heart is the story of Grace Melbury, who, despite her education and refined upbringing, finds herself torn between her marital commitment to the superficial Dr. Edred Fitzpiers and her lingering affection for her childhood love, the loyal and steadfast woodsman Giles Winterborne. The narrative explores themes of unrequited love, social mobility, and the inexorable forces of nature, as characters navigate the rigid Victorian social structure and the wild, untamed woodlands that both sustain and overshadow their lives.

    The 2636th Greatest Book of All Time
  8. 8. The Short Stories Of Thomas Hardy

    This collection showcases the short stories of a renowned 19th-century English novelist and poet, renowned for his vivid depiction of rural life and his profound understanding of human nature. The stories explore themes of love, tragedy, fate, and the struggle against social constraints, offering a profound look into the human condition. Each story is a masterful blend of rich characterization, evocative landscapes, and insightful social commentary, reflecting the author's deep connection to the landscapes and people of rural England.

    The 2829th Greatest Book of All Time
  9. 9. The Well Beloved

    The novel explores the life of a sculptor who becomes obsessed with the pursuit of the ideal woman, manifesting through successive generations of women on the Isle of Slingers. The protagonist's fixation on this unattainable concept of the "well-beloved" leads him through a series of infatuations and relationships, each time believing he has found the perfect embodiment of his ideal, only to become disillusioned. Set against the backdrop of the changing social and physical landscape of the late 19th century, the story delves into themes of love, art, and the ephemeral nature of beauty, ultimately questioning the very notion of an enduring, perfect love.

    The 7168th Greatest Book of All Time