Interest in the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars was kindled in Hardy when he was very young (cf. TM. preface). From his grandmother he heard stories of the Revolution and of the threatened invasion of England (cf. pp. 356–7). At this time Hardy’s grandfather was a volunteer (cf. WP. ‘The Alarm’); after the war he bought a highly illustrated periodical containing Gifford’s History of the Wars. Hardy was fascinated by it: ‘The torn pages of these contemporary numbers with their melodramatic prints of serried ranks, crossed bayonets, huge knapsacks, and dead bodies, were the first to set him on the train of ideas that led to The Trumpet-Major and The Dynasts.’
KeywordsBritish Museum Human Race True Reality Late Lyric French Army
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