The other day I got to experience something from the eyes of my favorite British author, Thomas Hardy. While visiting the cottage he grew up in as a boy and young man, I sat at his writing desk and looked out the same window he did for inspiration as he wrote about the people and the heath beyond. I was seeing a few more trees than Mr. Hardy did 150 years ago, but it was the same frame from which he extracted the setting for my favorite of his novels, Far from the Madding Crowd.
After visiting his boyhood home, we drove 10 miles or so to the house he built at the age of 45, when he had made enough money as a writer to quit his job as an architect and live off of his writing royalties. I am so glad that he experienced success as an author while he was still alive. In my mind, he deserved it.