was a poet by vocation and became a novelist by profession. The Wessex of his novels has made him arguably a regional novelist. As well as a prolific output in both these forms, he published a unique verse epic bringing together human and supernatural characters, short fiction, a volume for children, and two volumes of actual autobiography masquerading as a biography by his second wife. Since his career as a publishing novelist ran from the 1870s to the 1890s, and his first volume of poetry post-dated his final novel, he has been seen as a Victorian novelist but a mostly twentieth-century poet. This description, however, is not true to the facts of composition. He wrote poetry from early in his life, but did not publish it in volume form until his final novel.