Vol. 37 No. 1 (1989)
Research Article

The Case For Casterbridge: Thomas Hardy As PlacenaDle Creator

Published 1989-06-01



In common with other nineteenth-century English novelists, Thomas Hardy substituted fictional placenames for true ones in his writing. However, he did not merely devise names at random, but imaginatively created new names that were almost all historically or geographically significant, as well as being toponymically authentic, incorporating established placename elements. He thus, for example, renamed Wareham as Anglebury, for its Anglo-Saxon associations, and Wantage as Alfredston, for its links with King Alfred. Some names, as these two, differ completely from their originals; others, more commonly, were based on their originals, such as Glaston for Glastonbury or Port Bredy for Bridport. The paper examines Hardy's literary placenames both individually and generally, and lists all known counterparts to existing true names.


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