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In this series, a contemporary poet selects and introduces a poet of the past. By their choice of poems and by the personal and critical reactions they express in their prefaces, the editors offer insights into their own work as well as providing an accessible and passionate introduction to the most important poets in our literature.
Thomas Hardy (18401928) was born in Dorset. He left school at sixteen to work as an apprentice for an architect who specialized in church restoration. He made his reputation as a novelist, and it wasn't until after the publication of his last novel, The Well-beloved, in 1897, that he dedicated himself to writing poetry.
Tom Paulin was born in Leeds in 1949 but grew up in Belfast, and was educated at the universities of Hull and Oxford. He has published eight collections of poetry as well as a Selected Poems 19721990, two major anthologies, two versions of Greek drama, and several critical works, including The Day-Star of Liberty: William Hazlitt's Radical Style and recently, Crusoe's Secret: The Aesthetics of Dissent, The Road to Inver (2004) and Love's Bonfire (2012). Well known for his appearances on the BBC's Newsnight Review, he is also the G. M. Young Lecturer in English Literature at Hertford College, Oxford.