(1840-1928) an English writer of novels and poems. He was born in Dorset and set most of his stories there, calling it 'Wessex' and its main town 'Casterbridge'. The region is still often called Hardy country. Many of his novels show how much of human life is controlled by chance, which can be very cruel. His books often have an unhappy ending. The best known include Far from the Madding Crowd (1874), Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1891) and Jude the Obscure (1895). Many people in Victorian England did not like his books when they were first published, and for this reason Hardy stopped writing novels and wrote mostly poetry for the later part of his life.