Hardy was born in Higher Bockhampton, Dorsetshire, England.
He was educated in local schools and then privately. The
son of a stonemason, Hardy was apprenticed to a local
architect, then later pursued an occupation as an architect
while writing poetry unsuccessfully. Hardy was able to
make a living as a novelist. Following the death of his
first wife, he produced a collection of poems entitled
Veteris Vestigiae Flammae (Vestiges of an Old Flame)
that eloquently captured his feelings of his loss.