See also:born in
See also:Paris . He was one of the most fertile of all dramatic authors, and himself claimed to have written some six
See also:hundred plays, of which, however, only
See also:thirty-four are preserved . He seems to have been connected all his
See also:life with a troupe of actors headed by a
See also:clever comedian named Valleran-Lecomte, whom he provided with plays .
See also:Hardy toured the provinces with thiscompany, which gave some representations in Paris in 1599 at the Hotel de Bourgogne . Valleran-Lecomte occupied the same theatre in 160o-1603, and again in 1607, apparently for some years . In consequence of disputes with the Confrerie de la Passion, who owned the
See also:privilege of the theatre, they played elsewhere in Paris and in the provinces for some years; but in 1628, when they had long
See also:borne the title of " royal," they were definitely established at the Hotel de Bourgogne.' Hardy's numerous dedications never seem to have brought him riches or patrons . His most powerful friend was Isaac de Laffemas (d . 1657), one of
See also:Richelieu's most unscrupulous agents, and he was on friendly terms with the poet
See also:Theophile, who addressed him in some verses placed at the
See also:head of his Theatre (1632), and Tristan 1'Hermite had a similar admiration for him . Hardy's plays were written for the stage, not to be read; and it was in the
See also:interest of the
See also:company that they should not be printed and thus fall into the
See also:common stock . But in 1623 he published
See also:Les Chastes et loyales amours de Theagene et Cariclee, a tragicomedy in eight " days " or dramatic poems; and in 1624 he began a collected edition of his
See also:works, Le Theatre d'Alexandre Hardy, parisien, of which five volumes (1624-1628) were published, one at
See also:Rouen and the
See also:rest in Paris . These comprise eleven tragedies:
See also:Dixon se sacrifiant, Scedase ou l'hospitalite violee, Pant/zee, Meleagre, La Mort d'Achille, Coriolan, Marianne, a trilogy on the
See also:history of
See also:Alexander, Alcmeon, ou la vengeance feminine; five mythological pieces; thirteen tragi-comedies, among them Gesippe,
See also:drawn from
See also:Boccaccio; Phraarte, taken from
See also:Giraldi's Cent excellentes nouvelles (Paris, 1584);
See also:Cornelia, La Force du sang, Felismene, La Belle Egyptienne, taken from
See also:Spanish subjects; and five pastorals, of which the best is Alphee, ou la
See also:justice d'amour . Hardy's importance in the history of the French theatre can hardly be over-estimated .
Up to the end of the 16thcentury
See also:farce and spectacle kept their hold on the stage in Paris . The French classical tragedy of Etienne
See also:Jodelle and his followers had been written for the learned, and in 1628 when Hardy's
See also:work was nearly over and
See also:Rotrou was on the
See also:threshold of his career, very few
See also:literary dramas by any other author are known to have been publicly represented . Hardy educated the popular taste, and made possible the dramatic activity of the 17th century . He had abundant
See also:practical experience of the stage, and modified tragedy accordingly, suppressing
See also:chorus and monologue, and providing the
See also:action and variety which was denied to the literary drama . He was the
See also:father in France of tragi-
See also:comedy, but cannot fairly be called a
See also:disciple of the romantic school of England and Spain . It is impossible to know how much later dramatists were indebted to him in detail, since only a fraction of his work is preserved, but their general
See also:obligation is amply established . He died in 1631 or 1632 . The
See also:sources for Hardy's biography are extremely limited . The account given by the
See also:brothers Parfaict in their Hist. du theatre
See also:francais (1745, &c., vol. iv. pp . 2-4) must be received with caution, and no documents are forthcoming . Many writers have identified him with the provincial playwright picturesquely described in
See also:chap. xi. of Le Page disgracie (1643), the autobiography of Tristan 1'Hermite, but if the portrait is drawn from life at all, it is more probably drawn from Theophile . See Le Theatre d'Alexandre Hardy, edited by E.,Stengel (Marburg and Paris, 1883-1884, 5 vols.); E .
Lombard, " Etude sur Alexandre Hardy," in Zeitschr.fur neufrarz . Spr. u . Lit . (
See also:Oppeln and
See also:Leipzig, vols. i. and ii., 188o—1881) ; K . Nagel, A . Hardy's Einfluss auf
See also:Pierre Corneille (Marburg, 1884); and especially E . Rigal, Alexandre Hardy .
HARDY TREES AND SHRUBS
SIR THOMAS DUFFUS HARDY (1804-1878)
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