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Thomas Hardy and Animals examines the human and nonhuman animals who walk and crawl and fly across and around the pages of Hardy's novels. Animals abound in his writings, yet little scholarly attention has been paid to them so far. This book fills this gap in Hardy studies, bringing an important author within range of a new and developing area of critical inquiry. It considers the way Hardy's representations of animals challenged ideas of human-animal boundaries debated by the Victorian scientific and philosophical communities. In moments of encounter between humans and animals, Hardy questions boundaries based on ideas of moral sense or moral agency, language and reason, the possession of a face, and the capacity to suffer and perceive pain. Through an emphasis on embodied encounters, his writings call for an extension of empathy to others, human or nonhuman. In this accessible book Anna West offers a new approach to Hardy criticism.Read more
- Provides the first comprehensive study of animals in Hardy's novels
- Offers scholars and readers a new approach to Hardy criticism
- Combines interests in Hardy and animal studies
Reviews & endorsements
'… an important and welcome contribution to Hardy scholarship. … West’s volume serves as a good beginning point … on this compelling and complex subject. … Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty.' R. D. Morrison, CHOICE
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- Date Published: April 2017
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9781107179172
- length: 218 pages
- dimensions: 235 x 157 x 17 mm
- weight: 0.45kg
- contains: 1 b/w illus.
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
Introduction: Hardy's 'shifted [...] centre of altruism': an ethics of encounter and empathy
1. What does it mean to be a creature?
2. 'The only things we believe in are the sheep and the dogs'
3. 'Artful' creatures, part one: animal language
4. 'Artful' creatures, part two: can a snake have a face?
5. 'Artful' creatures, part three: 'pre-posthumanist' Hardy
6. Useful creatures: rethinking Hardy's humanitarianism.
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