chapter  VII
10 Pages

‘c ornhill ’ complications

Fortune tended always to seem a ‘guilty goddess5 to Hardy, even when his luck proved to be good luck. In 1873, however, his fortune remained consistently good. A Pair of Blue Eyes was hardly a month old when Hardy received a letter from Leslie Stephen, editor of the Cornhill Magazine, asking him for a novel to be serialized in the magazine of which Thackeray had been editor a decade previously. Before the end of July Hardy had not only accepted Stephen’s invitation, but had also, with justifiable pride in the growth of his reputation, had time to let his American publisher know about it. Doubtless to Hardy’s surprise, Henry Holt wrote back, on July 27, 1873, to confess that he ‘learned your intention of so soon publishing again with regret. Probably no one but Shakespeare has ever been able to accomplish the best class of work . . . with any rapidity.’