In attempting to break into fiction and away from his initial profession, architecture, thirty-year-old Thomas Hardy, a countryman come up to London, received a harsh education in what was suitable for volume publication from two of the country's top publishing houses, Macmillan's and Chapman and Hall, both of whom rejected his first novel, the suspiciously socialistic romance The Poor Man and the Lady. Remarks Sutherland (1976),
From Macmillan's Hardy had had a schoolboy's lesson it 'composition'; [George] Meredith [the reader for Chapman and Hall at the time] gave him a 'lecture'. He had been offered some conflicting encouragement. He understood he was to write fiction with intricate plot like Wilkie Collins (The Moonstone was the hit of 1868) and to write of 'rural scenes and humble life' like George Eliot (Silas Marner was a recent bestseller). He had been instructed to avoid the shocking and try for a 'light chatty tone which gave no offence'. In other words he was to write like Collins, George Eliot, Thackeray and Meredith himself. A literary Proteus would have had difficulty in adapting to all these roles. Hardy's first novel had at least two more rebuffs and he finally gave it up as a lost cause. In his next work he decided to follow Meredith's advice first. The Poor Man and the Lady was 'A Story with no Plot'; his next novel, Desperate Remedies, is all plot. Its narrative is a serial of accidents, coincidences and improbabilities. In defiance of chapters it is sectioned, presented as a calendar of 'events' (a device borrowed from Wilkie Collins). [Sutherland 216]
Tinsley Brothers as Publishers of Hardy's Fiction
Many Victorian publishers demanded "'payment against profits' schemes" that worked to the detriment of authors, particularly those just starting out on their writing careers. Thomas Hardy first began publishing with one of these predatory publishing houses — Tinsley Brothers (Dean 654), which had established itself in the London book trade about 1854. They published all but one of Hardy's earliest efforts at sustained fiction: The Poor Man and the Lady it rejected in 1869, but published in volume form at little risk to the firm Desperate Remedies (25 March 1871) because William Tinsley required that Hardy advance £75 as an indemnification against any losses ("This would be repaid the novelist out of net profits— if there were any. In fact Hardy never recovered his money." [Sutherland 218]), and Under the Greenwood Tree (early June 1872). For the former (after certain revisions) Hardy sold the full copyright to William Tinsley for £75, and for the latter a mere £30.
With the rise of the illustrated British magazine from 1859 through 1867 arose an intense demand for all sorts of fiction and for artists capable of working with minimal direction and at great speed to provide the illustrations. Although he scored a tremendous success with publishing M. E. Braddon's Lady Audley's Secret in volume form in 1862, William Tinsley did not make the logical next step of entering the illustrated monthly magazine market in 1867, and lost some £3,000 in the first year of operation; however, by 1868 Tinsley's Magazine had a readership of 10,000, as compared with the Cornhill's 18,000 for that same year (although by 1873 the Cornhill's circulation had climbed to 50,000). According to Ellegård (1971), Tinsley's relied heavily on original fiction, and appealed to readers who were "middle to upper class," but only of "low to fair education" (20). Tinsley Brothers, then, as much or more than other magazine publishers of the period, were constantly on the lookout for new and promising writers (whom they published anonymously), but from its list of contributors (a non-Canonical group which includes W. H. Russell, Mrs. Henry Wood, Mrs J. H. Riddell, Mary Molesworth, Grant Allen, Mrs Fraser, Annabel Gray, Justin McCarthy, B. L. Farjeon, and James Grant) one can see that it was at best a middle-brow journal publishing entertainment of the mystery and tale-of-the-supernatural variety rather than important literature. "By the 1880s, only utter nonentities were serialising fiction in its pages" (Stanford Companion 631). Despite lackluster sales, the favourable reviews of Under the Greenwood Tree (author not identified on the title-page) in the 28 June 1872 numbers of the highly influential Athenæum and the Pall Mall Gazette prompted William Tinsley (1831-1902) in early July to offer £200 for the twelve-part serial and initial volume publication rights to Hardy's latest novel, A Pair of Blue Eyes. (To put Tinsley's offer in an economic context, that was precisely what a second lieutenant in the British army would earn annually, and four times what a coalminer would earn. It was far from what Thackeray at the Cornhill had offered Trollope in 1860: £2,000.) Having learned to his cost that William Tinsley was one for sharp practice, Hardy wisely withheld full copyright. Although he did not have a completed manuscript for his publisher as had been the case with his three previous submissions, Hardy forwarded Tinsley enough material (the first five chapters) by 7 August 1872 for the first instalment, to appear in Tinsley's Magazine in September. He finished the novel on 14 March 1873, and fortunately did not have to dicker with William Tinsley again.
Although in format and content an obvious imitation of the tonier Cornhill, Tinsley's published second-rate fiction, its first offering Hardy's A Pair of Blue Eyes in serial perhaps being the closest it came to publishing serious literature. Tinsley's was published from August 1867 through May 1897, publication being suspended from June 1887 through January 1888. Despite its second-rate character, it enjoyed a succession of capable editors: Edmund Yates (1869-1879), William Tinsley, assisted by William Croft (autumn 1879-September 1884); William Tinsley, assisted by Edmund Downey (October 1884-May 1887); William Tinsley by himself once again (February-December 1892); and Margaret Elise Harkness. It was officially published by 'Tinsley Brothers' (despite the fact that Edward Tinsley, born in 1833, died the year preceding its founding) until May 1887. After going bankrupt to the tune of £33,000 in 1878, the firm nevertheless continued to publish books under the supervision of trustees. The magazine, meanwhile, had a succession of publishers: February through December 1888: Goldsmid and Company; January through May 1889: Eglinton and Company; June1889 through March 1890: Hansard Publishing Union; and April 1890 through January 1892: the Author's Co-operative. In February 1892, it merged with The Novel Review.
The Cornhill Magazine as Publisher of Hardy's Fiction
As a result of interest in Hardy as a writer spurred on by the public's reception of A Pair of Blue Eyes, in April 1873, Leslie Stephen (1832-1904), respected critic for the Saturday Review and successor in 1871 to the editor's chair first occupied by W. M. Thackeray and then by G. H. Lewes (George Eliot's common-law husband), enquired if Hardy had a new novel he might contribute to the Cornhill. Still working on the proofs for the three-volume first edition of A Pair of Blue Eyes, due to appear in late May, 1873, Hardy stalled Stephen. In November, when Stephen reiterated his request, Hardy offered a new story; on the strength of chapters (amounting to the first quarter of the novel) sent him in June and September, Stephen agreed to publish Far from the Madding Crowd, in contravention of his usual policy not to agree to publish until he had read a completed manuscript. Hardy must have felt that, as a professional writer, he had finally arrived.
Founded in January 1860 by the highly successful publisher George Smith along the lines of the immensely profitable Harper's Magazine in America, founded in 1850, the Cornhill Magazine was, as R. G. Cox remarks, "The most important magazine of the latter half of the [nineteenth] century" (188). Having the dimensions though not the length of a single-volume novel, it was one of those new shilling magazines that combined poetry, literary reviews by the likes of Matthew Arnold and John Ruskin, as well as illustrated serialised novels by such popular and critically acclaimed writers as George Eliot, Elizabeth Gaskell, Henry James, Wilkie Collins, James Payne, and Charles Reade —and it paid its contributors handsomely. Hardy found himself, then, in good company, although certainly not as well remunerated as Anthony Trollope and George Eliot. According to R. G. Cox,
Initial sales of the Cornhill, at a shilling, exceeded all expectations, and the first number sold 110, 000 copies—a degree of success staggering by present-day standards. After 1862 [with the departure of Thackeray that April] the editorship was in commission until Leslie Stephen took charge in 1871. Under Leslie Stephen especially, the Cornhill maintained a remarkable level of literary distinction. . . . . Stephen's own comments on his editorship (in Some Early Impressions) are interesting: he had a strict morality about accepting the best article offered, and not disturbing charity at the cost of the magazine. He was hampered by a certain tradition of inoffensiveness which compelled him to reject The Return of the Native though he had published Far from the Madding Crowd. [Matthew] Arnold, we are told, finally abandoned the Cornhill because he 'wanted to discuss topics to which the magazine had to give a wide berth'. The circulation, of course, could hardly stay at the level of the first number. When [Leslie] Stephen [then aged thirty-nine] took over it was 'not a fifth of that of the original number', and when he left in 1882 it was about 12,000—still a respectable figure for a[n esoteric] periodical whose 'soul' was described by Sir Edward Cook as 'the spirit of humane culture'. [Cox 188-89]
From sales of some 80,000 by the end of 1860, the magazine had settled down to a solid core of 18,000 readers by the end of the 1860s, so that Hardy would have been addressing some 8,000 more readers and a better educated class of reader—"politically perhaps predominantly Liberal, like the magazine" (Ellegård, 1971, 18) than he had with Tinsley's. Some of its contributors of fiction were as distinguished as its editors: Charles Reade, Wilkie Collins, Elizabeth Gaskell, James Payn, Eliza Lynn Linton, and George Eliot. Having greatly admired Under the Greenwood Tree when it was published in volume form by Tinsley Brothers in 1872, on 30 November of that same year Leslie Stephen, recently installed as editor of the Cornhill, solicited Hardy for a new novel. The upshot was the Cornhill's publication of Far from the Madding Crowd in a dozen monthly instalments over 1873-4, carefully edited and revised by Stephen himself. It was an instant success, and early in 1875 Smith, Elder issued a second edition of the novel, whereas Desperate Remedies had sold only 370 copies (Weber 97), A Pair of Blue Eyes only 500 copies, and the single-volume Under the Greenwood Tree even fewer. On the strength of the success of Far from the Madding Crowd, Stephen asked Hardy for another novel to be serialised in his monthly magazine; accordingly, Hardy submitted the first few chapters of The Hand of Ethelberta to Stephen in March for a serial run to begin in July 1875. Naturally, then, Hardy anticipated that Stephen would be extremely interested in his next pastoral novel, which he had written while at Sturminster Newton from July 1876 through mid-1877. Hardy unfortunately had not taken the measure of the spirit of Grundyism that pervaded the pages of this family magazine: Stephen would publish only if he could read and approve of the entire manuscript in advance. Although Hardy refused, the publishers of the Cornhill, Smith, Elder, agreed on 20 September 1878 to bring out the novel in volume just as serialisation concluded. The Hardy- Stephen literary collaboration ended abruptly in May 1876 when Stephen, worried about the various complicated and possibly illicit love-relationships he could see developing in early sections of the novel, "made one of the worst editorial decisions in the history of publishing and turned down The Return of the Native; the two men nevertheless managed to remain friends until Stephen's death in 1904" (Halperin 740).
Belgravia as Publisher of Hardy's Fiction
According to Richard Little Purdy in Thomas Hardy: A Bibliographical Study (1968), Hardy then offered The Return of the Native to Chatto and Windus for serialisation in Belgravia, a monthly directed towards a less sophisticated readership but having much the same form as the Cornhill.
Author and publishers quickly came to terms, enabling The Return of the Native to begin its twelve-month serialization inBelgravia in January 1878, but because Hardy had settled for only £20 for each monthly installment the descent from the more distinguished pages of the Cornhill was perhaps most acutely reflected in the decline in his income: whereas he had been paid a total of £700 for English serial and volume publication of The Hand of Ethelberta  from Chatto and Windus for the Belgravia serial of The Return of the Native, together with a further £200 from Smith, Elder for the first edition. [Dalziel 87]
In America, as a result of an agreement between Thomas Hardy and J. Henry Harper himself, the novel ran exactly a month behind the British serialisation, from February 1878 through January 1879 in Harper's New Monthly Magazine, but what American readers saw was somewhat different from what their British counterparts enjoyed because of the difficulties of transAtlantic shipping:
It had been planned to use the [Arthur] Hopkins illustrations, but apparently electrotypes could not be dispatched in time, so after falling a month behind with illustrations for the second and third instalments of the story and publishing two with the fourth instalment Harper's abandoned them altogether. [Purdy 26]
Founded by publisher John Maxwell in 1866 principally as a vehicle for the fiction of his common-law wife (the Sensation novelist M. E. Braddon), Belgravia was edited ("conducted," as All the Year Round was by Charles Dickens) by the author of Lady Audley's Secret (1862). Costing a shilling per number like a dozen other fiction magazines of the 60s, Belgravia had acquired a steady readership of 18,000 by 1870—roughly the same number enjoyed by the Cornhill that same year, although the latter's readers tended towards the upper end of the middle class and were somewhat better educated than those of Belgravia (even its name, derived from a fashionable London district, suggests that it was an imitation of the Cornhill ). The magazine serialised the fiction of Sheridan Le Fanu and relatively minor writers such as George Augustus Sala until its acquisition by Chatto and Windus in March 1876, whereupon the fiction of such luminaries as Charles Reade, Wilkie Collins, and Mark Twain began to grace its pages, illustrated by competent New Men of the Sixties as M. E. Edwards and Arthur Hopkins. The story that, when Braddon objected to the unrelieved tragedy of the conclusion of The Return of the Native, Hardy reluctantly lightened the d&eacu;nou&eacut;ment by having Diggory Venn marry Thomasin is probably apocryphal—in fact, in a letter of 8 February 1878 (written at least a month prior to the novelist's completion of the manuscript) outlining the plot and major characters to his illustrator, Hardy revealed his intention to have Diggory and Thomasin marry and 'live happily', so this concession to Victorian sentimentality was hardly an afterthought. Although the Smith, Elder triple-decker of November 1878 met with a cool critical reception in England, The Return of the Native received a much more positive response in America.
Hardy then salvaged about fifteen chapters from The Poor Man and the Lady for an extended short story, "An Indiscretion in the Life of an Heiress," for publication in another Chatto and Windus vehicle, the New Quarterly Magazine. Put off by Leslie Stephen's asserting in a letter of February 1879 that actual historical personages such as George III should not appear in historical fiction (even though novelists as esteemed as Sir Walter Scott and George Eliot had admitted such personages), as well as by the editor's indicating that he would not have room for a new sertialised novel for some time to comed, Hardy placed his next complete novel, The Trumpet-Major, with another periodical managed by publisher William Isbister. Although published in three volumes by Smith, Elder in October 1880, the historical novel appeared serially throughout that year in a rather unlikely illustrated (at least for Hardy) monthly magazine, Good Words, originally published by Alexander Strahan and edited by a fellow Scot, the Presbyterian minister Reverend Norman Macleod of Glasgow (1812-1872). With initial circulation of 30,000, by 1864 (its fourth year in print) it had some 150,000 subscribers. Credited as being the most popular fiction-carrying literary magazine between 1861 and 1891, Good Words trumpeted its evangelical leanings with the motto "Good Words are Worth Much and Cost Little." Each issue cost just sixpence, good value for some seventy pages of illustrated fiction, much of it short stories of the instruction variety contributed by Macleod himself. Ellegård (1971) estimates the monthly magazine's circulation by 1870 at 80,000: "A decidedly religious magazine, of some intellectual pretensions, and not relying on fiction for its vogue, it appealed to the lower to upper middle classes of fair educational standard" (21-22). When the editor, Presbyterrian minister Dr. Donald McLeod (who had succeded his father to the post and would occupy the editor's chair for a total of thirty-three years, while serving as Queen Victoria's chaplain) insisted upon some modest Bowdlerisations, including removing the strong oaths from the mouths of Hardy's soldiers, Hardy realized that Grundyism was as dominant in the offices of Good Words as at those of the Cornhill.
With the 12 instalments appeared 32 illustrations (5 of them full-page) John Collier. Though they were not reproduced in book form, Hardy took considerable pains to ensure their accuracy and provided his illustrator, as he had in the past, with sketches. In thanking him for these, Collier wrote, 20 November 1879, 'They are just what I want the interior of the old kitchen being especially serviceable to me [see February instalment]. . . . ' The novel was also published serially in America (without illustrations) in Demorest's Monthly Magazine (New York) from January 1880 to January 1881. [Purdy 33]
Although Hardy had offered the story to (and had been rebuffed by) the prestigious Ticknor-Fields quality periodical the Atlantic Monthly, he was successful in making the American publication of The Trumpet-Major lucrative, receiving $500 from Demorest's for the advance sheets of Good Words.
The instalments ran parallel in the two periodicals until November 1880, when (at Hardy's request) the last two instalments were spread over three numbers, possibly to forestall the pirates. There was, however, a pirated serial publication in the Fortnightly Review (George Munro, New York) from January to [?] December 1880. [Purdy 33]
Harper's New Monthly Magazine as Publisher of Hardy's Fiction
On top of the sale of the serial rights on both sides of the Atlantic, Hardy received £200 from Smith, Elder in July 1880 for the publication of the novel as a triple-decker. By contrast, he received a princely £100 for each of the thirteen instalments of A Laodicean in the inaugural numbers of the European edition of Harper's New Monthly Magazine. Hardy's second and final collaboration with George Du Maurier, on A Laodicean, was inhibited considerably by the author's falling ill shortly before serialisation began. On 24 May 1880 when Hardy had contracted with Harper and Brothers to write A Laodicean, the firm's London broker, R. R. Bowker, had asked Hardy to arrange for a large and a small illustration for each instalment, in obvious imitation of the format favoured by the Cornhill. Hardy cast about, inviting first Helen Paterson Allingham, who replied that she had entirely given up magazine illustration, and then Frank Dicksen; George Du Maurier was actually his third choice. In an 11 June 1880 letter to the publisher, Hardy reveals both a firm grasp of the business of publication and a solid sense of the processes and costs associated with magazine illustration, noting that Du Maurier's celebrity status as an illustrator enables him to command a relatively high fee, twenty guineas for a full-page illustration and half that for something smaller, such as the initial-letter vignettes of the Cornhill:
There are of course men who would execute them on lower terms. But it would I think be desirable to engage him, even if we have only one drawing a month instead of two—since apart from the merit of his drawing, his name would carry a great deal of weight in placards or advertisements of the new edition of the span class="lqbook">Magazine & would help greatly to attract attention here.
His plan of working is not by drawing on the wood, but by finishing his drawing in ink on cartridge paper, to a larger size than is required for the engraving: this is afterwards photographed on the wood (a matter of a few shillings cost) & cut in the ordinary way. All his Cornhill & Punch drawings are done in this way. In discussing the subject with him yesterday he says that in the event of his doing the work he should much prefer to send you his original drawings on the paper & let you photograph & engrave them. He adds that your engravers work so much more carefully than ours that he could finish the drawings in better style if he knew they were to be cut in America, & thinks it would be a pity to lose the advantage. In this case it would be necessary to deliver up the drawings to your agent [R. R. Bowker] here a fortnight or three weeks sooner each month than will be necessary for the ms. [Letters I: 74-75]
Probably to eliminate the inconvenience of sending the sketches off to America for processing and then returning them to England for printing, Harper's elected to have Swain do the engravings and went with thirteen full-page illustrations, one for each instalment, rather than a combination of a small-scale and larger plate for each monthly part, and have the European edition of Harper's New Monthly Magazine published by the London firm of William Clowes and Sons under R. R. Bowker's supervision. Nevertheless, Hardy seems to have known precisely the best way to ensure a high quality of reproduction, American engravers generally being acknowledged in the book trade as superior by training compared to their European counterparts. Hardy had intended to maintain a close relationship with his illustrator, offering the sorts of comments on composition and selection of scene that Dickens had earlier provided his illustrators. Initially, Du Maurier did in fact receive such advice from the novelist, but from 23 October 1880 to April 1881, Hardy was flat on his back, "showing little interest in the remaining illustrations" (Ormond 369) and responding to the artist's proposals only through Bowker. By March, however, Hardy seems to have recovered sufficiently to express his admiration for the final illustration, the reconciliation of Paula Power and George Somerset on the beach at Etretat in Normandy (which Hardy and his wife had visited on their continental tour the year previous), for Du Maurier presented the writer with the original pen-and-ink drawing framed. Dictating the novel to his wife from his sick-bed for five months, Hardy completed A Laodicean on 1 May 1881. Having failed to achieve the kind of collaboration with Du Maurier that Dickens had enjoyed with Phiz (Hablot Knight Browne), never again would Hardy concern himself so much with the illustration of his works in magazines and papers, generally leaving the management of such matters as interpretation of character, composition, and choice of scene entirely to his editors.
Hardy also seems to have learned how to prevent or forestall American piracies, for his agreement with Harper's stipulated that the volume edition of A Laodicean should not occur "within a fortnight of its completion in the magazine' and the chances of piracy in the difference of a month between the conclusion of the novel in the European and American editions of Harper's" (cited in Purdy 40). The original release in Great Britain scheduled for 22 November 1881 being adjusted to allow for initial release in America, A Laodicean appeared as a triple-decker under the Samson Low imprint on 4 December, Harper's own Franklin Square Library being the vehicle for the volume received by the Library of Congress on 26 November 1881. Thus, Hardy and Harper's conspired to protect the book from piracy by guaranteeing its protection under American copyright laws. Lesser works of Hardy fiction again appeared first in magazines on both sides of the water: Two on a Tower in the Atlantic Monthly in 1882, and The Romantic Adventures of a Milkmaid in the Graphic's special summer number and Harper's Weekly in 1883.
Hardy's association with the editor of the Graphic resulted in far more significant publications: The Mayor of Casterbridge and Tess of the D'Urbervilles.
The great success of The Graphic in its early days is a matter of such recent history that it is not necessary to write of it at length. Mr. Thomas has more than once publicly expressed his thanks to the body of clever and then comparatively unknown artists whose vigorous drawings soon earned for the paper a European reputation. All the men have become famous, and when we mention the names of Hubert Herkomer, Luke Fildes, Charles Green, Henry Woods, E. J. Gregory, Frank Holl, Sydney P. Hall, W. Small, and G. Durand, it will be seen that an exceptional amount of talent was employed in the service of the new journal. The outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War gave the paper its opportunity. The circulation rose by leaps and bounds, and success—a unique success—was assured. [C. N. Williamson, "Illustrated Journalism in England: Its Development. III." Magazine of Art. 1890. 396.]
Written between April 1884 and April 1885, The Mayor of Casterbridge ran serially from 2 January through 15 May 1886 in the Graphic, there being more than sufficient time between the submission of the manuscript and the start of the serial run, some eight months, for illustrator Robert Barnes to provide an impressive set of twenty large-scale woodcuts. Harper's Weekly ran the story in precisely the same instalments at exactly the same time. Smith, Elder and Henry Holt once again brought out unillustrated volume editions in England and America (a two-volume edition in London, a single-volume edition in New York), but in limited runs. While the London firm, doubting the popularity of the novel and increasingly disappointed with Hardy, produced only 758, bound 650, and sold only 613 copies [Purdy 151],
Holt in New York had to contend, as had been the case with The Trumpet-Major, with multiple piracies that undercut his dollar hard copy and thirty-cent paperback. By 1880, according to Sutherland, Hardy was commanding £1,000 for his British serial rights alone, but was constantly having to shop his manuscripts around to find publishers willing to take a chance on works somewhat too candid in sexual matters for family reading. Having failed to convince Macmillan's Magazine (almost as prestigious as the Cornhill, which in format it somewhat resembled) to publish The Trumpet-Major, Hardy was successful in his submission of The Woodlanders, which ran in twelve instalments from May 1886 through April 1887. Inaugurated by Alexander Macmillan as a more earnest vehicle for serialised fiction, Macmillan's was an unillustrated shilling magazine founded in November 1859, the year when no less than one hundred and fifteen periodicals debuted in London alone. With such weighty contributors as Thomas Hughes, Tennyson, Arnold, W. E. Forster, Lord Houghton, F. T. Palgrave, Charles Kingsley, R. D. Blackmore, Mrs. Humphrey Ward, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Annie Keary, Margaret Oliphant, William Black, Charlotte Yonge, W. C. Russell, and Henry James, Macmillan's appealed to a select readership of roughly 8,000 in the 1880s, well-educated subscribers who were for the most part "middle to upper class, politically tending towards conservatism [although] the magazine itself advocated a Liberal- Conservative coalition" (Ellegård, 1971, 19). Because the American serial of The Woodlanders, in Harper's Bazar, used the advance sheets from Britain, it too appeared without illustration. Although the stories in the volume Wessex Tales (1888) had appeared in a variety if literary magazines (including Blackwood's, the New Quarterly, Longman's, and the English Illustrated), Hardy collected and published them with Edward Marston and Frederick Macmillan. At the author's instruction, this was the first occasion on which the term "Wessex novels" had been used "when advertising his work" (Ray 3).
Just eighteen months after the conclusion of the serialised Mayor of Casterbridge, Arthur Locker asked Hardy for another full-length novel for the Graphic. Because, like Dickens, Hardy preferred to publish in monthly rather than weekly instalments, he repeatedly stalled the editor, but finally compacted with Locker on 13 November 1889 to provide a new novel to begin in January 1891. Fortunately for Hardy, the editor did not ask for the particulars of the new story, and agreed to accept the first half of the manuscript only three months prior to the start of the serial run. The concessions that Hardy made to Mrs. Grundy and her legion of followers in self-Bowdlerising Tess of the D'Urbervilles for serial publication has been the subject of considerable critical attention, beginning with Mary Ellen Chase in 1927. The most conspicuous of these alterations, rectified for subsequent volume publication, were the removal of the seduction scene and Tess's baby and the addition of a mock-marriage arranged by Alec D'Urberville.
The two major excisions from the serial were separately published, 'The Midnight Baptism' in Frank Harris's Fortnightly Review early in April 1891 (John Verschoyle, the assistant editor, had been quite prepared to publish it as 'The Bastard's Baptism'), and 'Saturday Night in Arcady', roughly corresponding to Chapters 10 and 11 of the novel, in W. E. Henley's National Observer the following November. Emma [Hardy] wrote out a considerable portion of the manuscript that went to Henley, and in January 1892, when most (though not all) of the 'Saturday Night in Arcady' material had been reincorporated into the text of the first edition, it was Emma who wrote to the editor of the Spectator to explain that the word 'whorage', as used by Tess in reference to Car Darch and her companions, had 'ceased in Somerset, Dorset, &c., to carry with it the coarse idea of its root-meaning, being spoken by the most modest to imply simply a company of slatternly, bickering, and generally unpleasant women'. [Millgate 307-308]
The resulting sanitized and 'morally safe' story was offered to and accepted by the editor of the Graphic, Arthur Locker, for weekly serial publication from 4 July through 26 December 1891, with the proviso that in Chapter 2, rather than carry them bodily, Angel Clare use a wheelbarrow to ferry the milkmaids across the flooded road. "Sensing that he had a really important work in hand, [Locker] arranged for twenty-five illustrations to be made for the story by Professor Hubert Herkomer of the Royal Academy and three of his pupils" (Weber 177). Again, as was the case with Barnes and the illustrations for the Graphic's serialisation of The Mayor of Casterbridge five years earlier, Hardy did not involve himself with the illustrations by his publisher's chosen professionals, and the illustrations did not appear in subsequent volume editions. In America, Harper and Brothers now protected from piracies by the new copyright law of July 1891, the serial ran from 18 July through 26 December in Harper's Bazar, the last a triple number to compensate for Harper's starting two weeks after the Graphic. As soon as the Graphic's printers had returned his manuscript, Hardy restored the various deleted passages and excised his concessions to Mrs. Grundy, subtitling the novel 'A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented'.
With these final emendations, the manuscript was sent off to the office of James R. Osgood, McIlvaine & Co. (a new London publishing house with offices at 45 Albemarle Street, just off Piccadilly), where a three-volume edition of the novel was promptly 'put in hand'. This new house was one that Hardy had begun association with when it published A Group of Noble Dames on May 30, 1891, about a month after the Fortnightly had printed 'The Midnight Baptism'. The head of the firm, James R. Osgood, was an American—the same man who, back in 1873, had paid the Cornhill for advance sheets of Far from the Madding Crowd with a view to the serialization of the novel in the Atlantic Monthly. However, before the arrival of the date for the Boston publication of the novel, Osgood had sold the Atlantic, and after another dozen years as a Boston publisher he went bankrupt. For a brief spell he was employed by Harper & Brothers in their New York office and in 1886 was sent by them to London as their English agent. Here Osgood made Hardy's acquaintance and was the go-between for Hardy's arrangements with the New York house. After five years' activity as London agent, Osgood established, in 1891, a firm of his own in London, acting promptly upon the heels of the passage (on December 4, 1890) of the new Copyright Bill by the House of Representatives. Osgood sensed at once that the new law, permitting English authors to enjoy for the first time copyright in America, would place Thomas Hardy in a favoured position. He therefore lost no time in making a proposal of such terms to Hardy as the novelist found it impossible to refuse. The publication of A Group of Noble Dames was the first result of their agreement, and plans for the publication of Tess followed soon thereafter. On (or about) November 29, 1891, Osgood published Tess in three volumes. This was the last time that any of Hardy's novels was published in this multiple-volume form; the reign of the 'three- decker' was over. [Weber 178]
Hardy's Fiction in Illustrated London News
A somewhat abbreviated novel, The Pursuit of the Well-Beloved, was the next major work that Hardy published serially, the vehicle being the large-format, high-circulation Illustrated London News, a large-scale, highly illustrated weekly of Liberal inclination founded in 1842 by Nottingham newsagent and publisher Herbert Ingram. Associated with some of leading illustrators of nineteenth-century Britain (including John Leech, Kenny Meadows, Sir John Gilbert, and Alfred Crowquill), the ILN branched out into fiction after the inception of its large-scale rival, the Graphic, in 1859, publishing in serial such novelists as R. L. Stevenson, Walter Besant, R. E. Francillon, Rider Haggard. The ILN hadalready published the Hardy short stories "What the Shepherd Saw" in December 1881 (when its circulation was roughly 70,000) and "The Son's Veto" in December 1891, and would publish "A Committee-Man of the 'Terror'" in December 1896. By this point, the golden age of Victorian illustration was on the wane, the Cornhill having given up illustration entirely in 1886. Thus, the easily reproduced, large-scale lithographs of Walter Paget, despite their painterly qualities, seem to lack the verve and conviction of the work found in earlier serialisations of Hardy's novels. The best scenes undoubtedly are those that convey the flinty, nature-embattled quality of the Isle of the Slingers, the story's principal setting. The numerous single- character plates convey a sense of the story's psychological complexity and lend credibility to a somewhat improbable plot. Paget had been the editor's rather than Hardy's choice to illustrate the twelve-week run (1 October through 17 December 1892) with some two dozen plates and an elaborate headpiece. When, five years later, the story finally appeared—considerably altered— in volume form as the seventeenth in the Osgood, McIlvaine Uniform Edition of Hardy's Works, it did so without any of Paget's atmospheric illustrations.
Hardy's renunciation of novel-writing was the direct result of the storm of controversy engendered by his candour in Jude the Obscure, which first appeared as Hearts Insurgent (December 1894) and then as The Simpletons (January 1895) in Harper's New Monthly Magazine. Although he had originally promised the management of Harper's, to whom he had first offered the novel, that there would be nothing in it to "bring a blush to a school-girl's cheek (the phrase is J. Henry Harper's)" (Weber 206), as was the case when he was writing Tess, Hardy began to realize as the story progressed under his pen that his new novel would be unacceptable to any editor of a family periodical on either side of the Atlantic. Reluctant to give up a new novel by a famous author, Harper's refused Hardy's April 1894 request to be released from his contract; the firm seems to have believed that it could adjust the story after its readers had processed the manuscript. Subsequently, however, as Hardy had prophesied, the New York publisher in October 1894 found the story altogether too outspoken, so that Hardy felt compelled to agree to effect the kind of Bowdlerisations he had enacted for the serialisation of Tess. Meantime, Harper's had contracted William Hatherell, who had recently illustrated the Hardy short story "The Fiddler of the Reels" for Scribner's in New York (May 1893), to provide the necessary illustrations. Founded in 1887, Scribner's, by this time published in Great Britain by Sampson Low, would later serialise such major English novels as J. M. Barrie's Sentimental Tommy (1896). Hardy was likely one of the first major writers to contribute to the Anglo-American periodical. William Hatherell had been employed to make twelve illustrations for the novel, and Hardy was especially pleased with the results achieved by this artist.
W. Hatherell had been employed to make twelve illustrations for the novel, and Hardy was especially pleased with the results achieved by this artist. On November 10, 1895, he wrote to Hatherell: 'Allow me to express my sincere admiration for the illustration of "Jude at the Milestone". The picture is a tragedy in itself, and I do not remember ever before having an artist who grasped a situation so thoroughly.' Hardy later put these illustrations up on the wall of his study. They are now in the Hardy Room of the Dorset County Museum in Dorchester. [Weber 207]
Like Paget's for The Pursuit of the Well- Belovéd in the Illustrated London News, Hatherell's plates for Jude reflect the technological advances generally associated with photography. Gone are the bold, striking line- drawings of the period 1870 through 1890, and in their place sober shades of grey that emphasize the novel's bleakness. Although Jude the Obscure was the last of Hardy's full-scale novels, if we discount the re-working of The Pursuit of the Well-Belovéds for volume publication in 1897. Henceforth, although Hardy devoted himself to the composition and publication of verse, he continued to publish and revise pieces of short fiction, generally for such illustrated British magazines as the Illustrated London News and The English Illustrated Magazine (both edited by Clement King Shorter), The Pall Mall Magazine (founded in 1893 by W. W. Astor and published by Routledge), The Sphere, and St. James's Budget (founded in 1862 by W. Kent as a rival to the Cornhill to appeal to middle-class matrons), all of which required quality short stories in abundance. Purdy notes, for example, that Tillotson's Newspaper Fiction Bureau, which acted as a procurer of fiction for magazines and provincial newspapers, was annually publishing approximately 300 new short stories in the 80s and 90s by such popular writers as Wilkie Collins, Charles Reade, M. E. Braddon, Rudyard Kipling, Conan Doyle, and H. G. Wells. Hardy's first experience with the Tillotson's group came in July 1881, when he was approached about a Christmas story. Hardy sold them the serial rights to four short stories: "Benighted Travellers" (later called "The Honourable Laura") in 1881, "A Mere Interlude," in 1885; "Alicia's Diary," in 1887; and "The Melancholy Hussar," in 1890. The rate of remuneration was commensurate with Hardy's stature in the 1890s as the last of the great Victorian authors: for the comparatively slight "A Tryst at an Ancient Earthwork," for example, he commanded from Shorter the not inconsiderable fee of £20 in September 1893.
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Last modified 16 March 2008