Rediscovering Thomas Hardy
Routledge – 1992 – 232 pages
The manuscript of Hardy's first great novel Far From the Madding Crowd vanished shortly after its first publication. Rediscovered in 1918 it sheds remarkable new light on the whole of Hardy's work. The manuscript pages, some of which are reproduced here in facsimile, reveal Hardy's original composition in the novel, and the reluctantly `cancelled words' which were the result of a long struggle with Sir Leslie Stephen, Hardy's editor. Cancelled Words reveals the manner in which Hardy worked, his resistance to censorship, his obsessive attention to detail and precision, and the often concealed processes underlying his authorship. Ultimately, it serves to shape our understanding of the development of the modern novel.