THE END OF PROSE
On April 24,1895, Hardy wrote his wife from the Athenaeum Club in London: ‘I am overwhelmed with neglected proofs which I want to get at.’ 1 Osgood, Mcllvaine & Co. had begun issuing the seventeen-volume Uniform Edition of his works, one volume each month, and in addition to carrying this heavy load of proof-reading Hardy was writing a new preface for each volume. In January (1895) he had written the preface for Tess; in February, one for The Mayor; in March, for A Pair of Blue Eyes; and in April, for Far from the Madding Crowd. After a May ‘season’ in London, he went on with the work. A preface was written in June for The Return of the Native; in July, for Two on a Tower; in August, for Jude the Obscure; in September, for The Woodlanders; in October, for The Trumpet-Major; and in December, for The Hand of Ethelberta.