Thomas Hardy (2 June 1840 – 11 January 1928) was an English novelist and poet. A Victorian realist in the tradition of George Eliot, he was influenced both in his novels and in his poetry by Romanticism, including the poetry of William Wordsworth. He was highly critical of much in Victorian society, especially on the declining status of rural people in Britain, such as those from his native South West England.
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Nothing is stranger or more ticklish than a relationship between people who know each other only by sight, who meet and observe each other daily — no, hourly — and are nevertheless compelled to keep up the pose of an indifferent stranger, neither greeting nor addressing each other, whether out of etiquette or their own whim.
Unlike women in other countries, our breaking silence is unlikely to have us jailed, "disappeared," or run off the road at night. Our speaking out will irritate some people, get us called bitchy or hypersensitive, and disrupt some dinner parties. And then our speaking out will permit other women to speak, until laws are changed and lives are saved and the world is altered forever.