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Hardy's Topographical Lexicon and the Canon of Intent

A Reading of the Poetry

Series:

Margaret Faurot

This study of Thomas Hardy's poetry hinges on the discovery of Hardy's topographical lexicon, his recurring vocabulary of earth-measure replicating his geographic, temporal, and cultural, landscape. The discovery provides Hardy with a poetic canon that shows the poet, his native ground, the age he lived through, and the intellectual milieu that defined it to be an uncommon holism of man, provenance, and art. The introductory chapter identifies the topographical lexicon, extracts the symbology arising from the re-measure of Wessex occasioned by the topographical lexicon, and shows the logic inherent in Hardy's response to the thought of the age to be congruent with the symbological cointent of Wessex. The following chapters are devoted to a reading of the eight volumes of poetry in sequence, according to a paradigm construed from lexicon, symbology, and logic.