It is widely believed that the wealth of poetry he produced was informed, perhaps inspired by the death of his first wife, Emma, who, though estranged from, he never quite got over. He married his second wife, his secretary, Florence, in 1914. Tragically, though Florence and Thomas Hardy were devoted to each other, the shadow of his first wife’s memory hung like a shroud over their relationship.
Somerset Maugham, although he denied it, wrote what might have been a story based around Thomas Hardy's relationship with Florence. In the preface to 'Cakes and Ale' Somerset Maugham strenuously denies his character, Edward Driffield is representative of Thomas Hardy. I think the author protest too much. I am not one for believing there is no smoke without fire but here I think there possibly was heat behind the embers.
Elgar died February 3rd 1934 six years after Hardy.
Russell Cuts the Corn From The Brewers Whiskers.