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The place of the dramatist as the "abstract and brief chronicle of the time" now taken by the novelist. Some remarks about history and the purpose of studying history. Studying history through novels written at a particular place and time. Novels which lead one to a further study of history. The intelligent study of the novel which will lead up to a knowledge of the best kind of history. A specific example in the shape of Thomas Hardy. Some background on the Hardy family history, and in particular, Thomas Hardy, the novelist. A review of Hardy's life and work. The social history to be found in Hardy's work.