Thomas Hardy was born in 1840 at Upper Bockhampton but lived in Wimborne (Avenue Road) with his first wife Emma [nee Gifford] from 1881-1883. His father was a builder and stonemason.
During his time in Wimborne he wrote “Two on a Tower” (1882) - a story of a young
man and an aristocratic lady - with the tower based on the one that can be seen for miles
around in Charborough Park, the home of MP, Richard Drax. The park is occasionally opened
to visitors during the Summer and there is a pleasant walk up to the tower surrounded by woodland. The estate is on the road from Wimborne to Bere Regis.
The Trumpet Major was published in 1881, a story based around the Napoleonic Wars times
and “The Laodicean” published in 1882. During the writing of The Laodicean whilst living in London , Hardy was unwell and this directed the decision to move to the clean open air of Wimborne. He later moved to Dorchester and lived there until 1921.
Whilst living in Wimborne he was only a few hundred metres from the nearby Railway Station
and so his journeys to London to visit his publisher were comparatively easy.
Many of his stories draw on Dorset Life and towns and towns villages are often renamed for the sake of the novels; Wimborne was featured as Warborne, Poole as Havenpool and
Bournemouth as Sandbourne
Hardy wrote fourteen novels as well as three collections of short stories along with
several poems between 1871 and 1897. His best known novels; “Tess of the D’Urbervilles”
(1891) and “Jude the Obscure” (1895) received negative reviews from literary critics and
might have been the reason for his finally turning more to poetry rather than continuing
his fictional novels