Review

Review: In The Chosen, Elizabeth Lowry creates a compassionate portrait of Thomas Hardy

By Ian McFarlane
May 13 2022 - 2:00pm
  • The Chosen, by Elizabeth Lowry. Riverrun, $32.99.
Thomas Hardy. Picture: Getty Images

Thomas Hardy became one of the stars of English Literature during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1891), the most celebrated of his Wessex novels, crafts a tragic love story reflecting social, religious, and moral themes. Hardy, who trained as an architect before becoming a writer, was the son of a stonemason, and uncomfortably aware of strait-laced Victorian attitudes towards class status, religion, and sexuality. His wife, Emma, died in 1912, following many years of increasing disenchantment between them. She described this discontent in a series of "black diaries" which Hardy discovered shortly after her death and subsequently burned.

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