Thomas Hardy [1840-1928], in the course of his long career, produced a body of work remarkable for its range. In the first rank of poets and novelists at once, he bridges the Victorian and Modern periods and challenges our assumptions about authorship, literary specialization, and the correspondences between lyric and fiction. The imaginary worlds he created are important records of social transformation. Working with techniques of melodrama, folk forms, and an ethnographic attention to detail, he provides a profound account of the interplay between the archaic and the utopian. In this seminar we will read all of Hardy's poetry, one book at a time, and four of his major novels: The Woodlanders, Jude the Obscure, Tess of the D'Urbervilles, and Far From the Madding Crowd. Students will be required to write several brief response papers and to take a small test on Hardy's meters. The final requirement is a 25 page research paper on an aspect of Hardy's work.