The early life and later years of Thomas Hardy: an argument for a new edition
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This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in The Review of English Studies following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version of “Dolin, Tim. 2007. The early life and later years of Thomas Hardy: an argument for a new edition. The Review of English Studies. Volume 58 (Number 237): pp. 698-714.” is available online at: http://res.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/58/237/698
This article calls for a new edition of the discredited Early Life and Later Years of Thomas Hardy (Life), written substantially by Hardy but with significant additions and deletions by Florence Hardy and J. M. Barrie, published in 1928 and 1930 under Florence Hardy's name; and makes an argument for the precedence of this edition over Michael Millgate's influential 1984 Hardy-only edition of the Life and Work of Thomas Hardy (Life and Work). The article argues that the Millgate edition mobilises two mutually validating conceptions of autonomous authorship: an editorial conception of the primacy of authorial intention; and a cultural conception of the primacy of the autobiographical subject. In response, the article retraces the history of the composition of the Life, finding that Hardy's secret effort to control the execution of his posthumous biography was not consistent with a disguised autobiographical intention. The Life declares the relational nature of the self, and represents that self formally and stylistically, as well as in its assumption of shared authorship.
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