Originally published in 1947 and presenting the famed poet-novelist against the background of contemporary thought and society, Harvey Curtis Webster shows that Hardy's later works give consistent evidence of hope; that pervasive pessimism was by no means the keynote of Hardy's thought.

On a Darkling Plain traces the evolution of Hardy's thought, from faith, through disillusionment, to a cautious belief in the ultimate progress of man.

chapter I|26 pages

The Starting-Point

chapter II|22 pages

Flux and Reflux

chapter III|29 pages

A Young Man’s View of Existence

chapter IV|58 pages

Man’s Quandary

chapter V|25 pages

The Nature of the Universal

chapter VI|39 pages

To The Better

chapter VII|17 pages

Another Starting-Point