Thomas Hardy is a beautiful nut-job. I'm half-way through "Tess of the d'Urbervilles" and am shocked and delighted by his artful wrangling of the English language. Thomas Hardy was a tricky guy with words, and one who could whip you up into a fervor using phrases you've never heard of. For example, this when Tess is delayed at a country dance:
"...the silence of their footfalls arising from there being over-shoe in "scroff"--that is to say, the powdery residuum from the storage of peat and other products, the stirring of which by their turbulent feet created the nebulosity that involved the scene. Through this floating fusty debris of peat and hay, mixed with the perspirations and warmth of the dancers, and forming together a sort of vegeto-human pollen...." (What?!!! )
And this, about the sun:
"The sun, on account of the mist, had a curious sentient, personal look, demanding the masculine pronoun for its adequate expression. His present aspect, coupled with the lack of all human forms in the scene, explained the old-time heliolatries in a moment. One could feel that a saner religion had never prevailed under the sky. The luminary was a golden-haired, beaming, mile-eyed, God-like creature, gazing down in the vigour and intentness of youth upon an earth that was brimming with interest for him."
Here is his picture,
And here is the Thomas Hardy Bar in Dorchester, England.