A Chronology of Thomas

Hardy’s Collected Short Stories

by Martin Ray

© 1997
Originally published in Thomas Hardy: A Textual Study of the Short Stories

Titles of stories as they are best known are used throughout.

Some dates of composition are approximate.

 

  .

.

 Short Stories

Hardy’s Life and Other Writings

1878 Jan 

Mar 

Apr 

 
 
 

‘The Duchess of Hamptonshire’ (as ‘The Impulsive Lady of Croome Castle’) published 
 

The Return of the Native begins in serial 
Moves to Wandsworth Common
1879 Apr ‘The Distracted Preacher’ published  .
1880 Jan 

Apr 
Oct 

Dec 
 



‘Fellow-Townsmen’ published 
The Trumpet-Major begins in serial 

Hardy seriously ill for next six months 
A Laodicean begins in serial 

1881 June 
Dec

‘What the Shepherd Saw’ published 
‘The Honourable Laura’ published 
 
Moves to Wimborne
1882 May 

July 

Nov 
 



‘A Tradition of Eighteen Hundred and Four’ sent off 
‘A Tradition of Eighteen Hundred and Four’ published 
 
Two on a Tower begins in serial
1883 Feb 

June

‘The Romantic Adventures of a Milkmaid’ sent off 
‘The Romantic Adventures of a Milkmaid’ published 


Moves to Dorchester
1884

Feb


‘The Duchess of Hamptonshire’ (as ‘Emmeline; or, Passion versus Principle’) published 
 
Working on The Mayor of Casterbridge this year
1885 Feb 
Mar 

Apr 

June 
Oct 
 

‘A Tryst at an Ancient Earthwork’ written 
‘A Tryst at an Ancient Earthwork’ published in USA 
 
 

‘A Mere Interlude’ published 
 

 
 

The Mayor of Casterbridge finished 
Moves into Max Gate 
 

1886 Jan 

May 
 





.
The Mayor of Casterbridge begins in serial 
The Woodlanders begins in serial 
 
1887 Feb 

Mar 
Aug 
Sept 
Oct 
Dec 
 

 
 

‘Alicia’s Diary’ written 
‘The Withered Arm’ written 
‘Alicia’s Diary’ published 
‘The Waiting Supper’ published 
 

Finished writing The Woodlanders 
Visits Italy 
 
1888 Jan 
May 
Aug 
Sept 
Dec 
 
‘The Withered Arm’ published 
Wessex Tales published by Macmillan 
‘A Tragedy of Two Ambitions’ written 
‘The First Countess of Wessex’ written 
‘A Tragedy of Two Ambitions’ published 
 




.
1889 Sept 
Dec 
 

‘The First Countess of Wessex’ published 
 
About half of Tess sent off
1890 Jan 
May 
July 

2nd half 
Nov–Dec 
 

‘The Lady Penelope’ published 
‘A Group of Noble Dames’ sent off 
Revised ‘A Group of Noble Dames’ sent off 
Most of stories in Life’s Little Ironies written 
‘A Group of Noble Dames’ published 
(i.e. ‘Anna, Lady Baxby’, 
‘Barbara of the House of Grebe’, 
‘The Lady Icenway’, 
‘Lady Mottisfont’, 
‘The Marchioness of 
Stonehenge’, 
‘Squire Petrick’s Lady’ 
 
.
1891 Mar 
Mar–June 
Apr 
May 

June 
July 
Nov 
Dec 
 

‘For Conscience’ Sake’ published 
‘A Few Crusted Characters’ published 
‘The Son’s Veto’ written 
A Group of Noble Dames  
published by Osgood, McIlvaine 
‘To Please His Wife’ published 

‘On the Western Circuit’ published 
‘The Son’s Veto’ published 
 

 
 
 
 
 

Tess begins in serial 
 

1892 July 
Oct
. Death of Hardy’s father 
The Well-Beloved begins in serial 
 
1893 Jan 
Mar 
May 
June 

Sept 
 
Oct 
Dec 
 

‘The Fiddler of the Reels’ sent off 
‘Master John Horseleigh, Knight’ sent off 
‘The Fiddler of the Reels’ published 
‘Master John Horseleigh, Knight’ published 
‘An Imaginative Woman’ finished 
‘A Tryst at an Ancient Earthwork’ revised  Life’s Little Ironies assembled 
‘A Tryst at an Ancient Earthwork’ published in UK 
 
 
 
 
Meets Florence Henniker 
 
 
 
 

Working on Jude

1894 Feb 

Apr 
Dec 
 

Life’s Little Ironies published by Osgood, McIlvaine 
‘An Imaginative Woman’ published 
 
 
 

Jude begins in serial 
 

1895 Mar 
Nov 
 
. Finishes writing Jude 
Jude published in book form 
 
1896 Aug 

Nov 

Dec 
 

‘A Committee-Man of “The Terror”’ sent off 
‘A Committee-Man of “The Terror”’ published 
‘The Duke’s Reappearance’ published
 
.
1897 Mar 

July 
Nov 
 



‘The Grave by the Handpost’ finished 
‘The Grave by the Handpost’ published 
 
The Well-Beloved published in book form
1898 Dec . Wessex Poems published 
1899 . . .
1900 Jan 
Apr 
Dec 
 
‘A Changed Man’ written 
‘A Changed Man’ published 
‘Enter a Dragoon’ published 
.
1912  
 
 
 
 
 
Nov 
 
Life’s Little Ironies published (Wessex edition; Preface dated May 1912) 
Wessex Tales published (Wessex edition; Preface dated May 1912) 
A Group of Noble Dames published (Wessex edition) 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Death of Emma Hardy 
 
1913 Oct A Changed Man and Other Tales published by Macmillan .
1914
.
A Changed Man and Other Tales published (Wessex edition) .

 
October 1997