Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy

UCD Special Collections holds the original holograph manuscript of The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy.

Identity Statement

Reference code IE/ UCD ms 11

The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy.


Level of Description

429 ff.


Thomas Hardy (1840-1928).

Biographical History

  • Thomas Hardy was born in Dorset, England.
  • He primarily viewed himself as a poet, and wrote novels mainly for financial gain.
  • His work follows the naturalist movement of the period and was later praised by such writers as D.H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf.
  • Following his death in 1928 the executors of his estate burned his letters and notebooks.
  • The Return of the Native, first published in 1878, was Hardy’s 6th novel.
  • It initially appeared as a 12-part series in the magazine Belgravia, where its somewhat controversial thematic content caused a stir.
    Subsequently, it has become one of Hardy’s best known and most popular novels.
  • The manuscript of The Return of the Native follows an interesting and somewhat complicated path.
  • Hardy gave his manuscript to journalist and biographer Clement King Shorter ‘in the days of early friendship’.
  • Shorter’s first wife, Dora Sigerson Shorter, was the daughter of Dr George Sigerson, physician and lecturer in medicine in the Catholic University and in University College Dublin. 
  • Shorter decided to bequeath the Hardy manuscript, as well as a section of his personal library, to the Royal University of Ireland (the antecedent body of UCD) in memory of his first wife. 

Source of Acquisition
Bequest by Clement King Shorter to an antecedent body of UCD (Royal University of Ireland).

Scope and Content

Original holograph manuscript of The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy.

Access and Use

The materials in this collection are available by appointment only to research students, reaching staff and scholars. Research students should have a letter of recommendation from their supervisor.

Photocopying or digital photographing of this material is not permitted.


Finding Aid

More Information

Find information on Thomas Hardy in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (UCD only).