Novelist and poet, best known for his novels set in rural 'Wessex' such as Tess of the d'Urbervilles and Far from the Madding Crowd. Born Upper Bockhampton, Dorset. Before turning to writing full-time he studied architecture in London from 1862 - 67 under Arthur Blomfield, an architect based in Covent Garden, most of the time at 8 Adelphi Terrace, from where Hardy had a good view of the Thames.
It was during this time that he became familiar with London and its society and began writing. For the next 20-odd years he lived on and off in London and the suburbs. When first married he and Emma lived for 3 years in Tooting but then moved back to Dorset. From then on they spent every “season” approximately April– July in London socialising. For this they rented a variety of houses or flats across London: Kensington, Bloomsbury, etc. In all, Hardy lived at over 30 different London addresses. The start of WW1 put an end to this pattern.
Died at home, Max Gate, Dorchester, Dorset.
Hardy wished his body to be buried with his first wife. But the nation wanted him in Westminster Abbey's Poets' Corner. So the compromise was to bury just his heart in Dorset. The two funerals were on the same day, starting at the same time.
Much of our information comes from Mark Ford’s “Thomas Hardy: Half a Londoner” published 2016.