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A New Guide to Keep Track of “Who’s Who in Thomas Hardy”

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

If you love Thomas Hardy’s novels but sometimes get confused by the characters and plot twists that occur throughout his work, then worry no more as a concise reference book has recently been published to help unravel the mysteries that can occur when reading Hardy.

This guide presents for the first time this century a catalogue listing the characters in the fiction of Thomas Hardy. In minutes, the reader can find a summary of who does what and in which work – useful for students, scholars, and lovers of Hardy everywhere.


The front cover of Huw Rahane's book "Who's who in Thomas Hardy"
The front cover of Huw Rahane’s book “Who’s who in Thomas Hardy”


The fruit of a lifetime of study, journalist Huw Barker Rahane has created a lively and concise register of colourful men and women, dramatically bringing out Hardy’s constant theme of sexual desire and fulfillment – and the consequences where the balance is not struck.

The book presents an unrivaled opportunity to rediscover painlessly many gripping and half-forgotten works, some of them quite short, all catalogued here alongside old mainstays such as “The Mayor of Casterbridge” and “Jude the Obscure”. Thanks to the book’s cool, informal style, the reader will be encouraged to go back to the original and uniquely rich world of Hardy’s imagination.

Huw Barker Rahane took a degree in business studies in South Africa, travelled widely before settling down to a career in journalism and public relations. He retired to devote himself to writing. He now lives in Sussex.Portrait of Thomas Hardy

This guide book presents a wealth of easily accessible information for both students, fans and tourists alike who have an interest in Thomas Hardy’s works and the era of Victorian literature as well as the historical history of Dorset and Dorchester.

As the author comments

Hardy’s work often seems lost in a sea of comment and analysis. This survey seeks to go past all this into the clear water of listing the men and woman who people the pages of his major fiction, without exegesis, value judgements or location guides; just a list of those who materially advance or illustrate the plot. The purpose is to be useful to anyone wishing to find out quickly who Marty South loved in vain or who shot Sergeant Troy.

It is my hope that by making plain facts easily available it will stimulate interest in the genius of Thomas Hardy and promote pleasure in the quite enormous sea of riches that lie forgotten or unrecognised behind the few over-exposed and sometimes over-praised parts of this oeuvre.

Copies of the book can be purchased online from Austin Macauley publishers.

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