London, South Kensington
7 June 2010
HARDY, Thomas (1840-1928). Autograph correspondence card signed to 'Mr Monk', Max Gate, 24 December 1912, ON HIS WIFE'S DEATH, writing to express thanks for a letter of condolence, 'Mrs Hardy's death was quite unexpected by me, & the loss of her leaves a great blank in my life', one page, oblong 12mo, on a mourning card (creased at corners).
Emma Hardy had died the previous month, at the age of 72, her last years marked by ill-health and estrangement from her husband, who was increasingly interested in the much younger Florence Dugdale. Her death came as a profound shock to Hardy, however, and memories of their early courtship inspired an extraordinary burst of poetic creativity, resulting in the 'Poems of 1912-13'.
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