Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Ideas of History

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 17-17
    2. Fred Reid
      Pages 19-28
    3. Fred Reid
      Pages 53-58
    4. Fred Reid
      Pages 73-82
  3. Putting His Satire in Edgewise

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 83-83
    2. Fred Reid
      Pages 85-88
    3. Fred Reid
      Pages 99-108
    4. Fred Reid
      Pages 109-117
  4. Empire, War and Revolution

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 139-139
    2. Fred Reid
      Pages 141-154
    3. Fred Reid
      Pages 155-174
    4. Fred Reid
      Pages 197-223
    5. Fred Reid
      Pages 225-227
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 229-238

About this book


This book addresses the questions 'What did Thomas Hardy think about history and how did this enter into his writings?' Scholars have sought answers in 'revolutionary', 'gender', 'postcolonial' and 'millennial' criticism, but these are found to be unsatisfactory. Fred Reid is a historian who seeks answers by  setting Hardy more fully in the discourses of philosophical history and the domestic and international affairs of Britain. He shows how Hardy worked out, from the late 1850s, his own 'meliorist' philosophy of history and how it is inscribed in his fiction. Rooted in the idea of cyclical history as propounded by the Liberal Anglican historians, it was adapted after his loss of faith through reading the works of Auguste Comte, George Drysdale and John Stuart Mill and used to defend the right of individuals to break with the Victorian sexual code and make their own 'experiments in living'.


Novel Historiography Mayor of Casterbridge Jude the Obscure Under the Greenwood Tree

Authors and affiliations

  • Fred Reid
    • 1
  1. 1.KenilworthUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information