"Hardy was the first"
Thomas Hardy, photographed in the 1910s
Public DomainThomas Hardy, photographed in the 1910s

Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) was an English poet and novelist.  His novels are set in Wessex, the ancient name for much of southwest England (now the counties of Dorset (in which Lyme Regis lies), Wiltshire, Somerset, Devon and Hampshire as well as some parts of Berkshire and Oxfordshire).  The novels are tragic, focusing on the trials of individuals whose lives, desires or morals come into conflict with restrictive Victorian society.