Henry Hardy

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Henry Hardy in Sorrento, 21 October 2014

Henry Robert Dugdale Hardy (born 15 March 1949) is a British author and editor.


Hardy was born in London and educated at Lancing College, where his contemporaries included Christopher Hampton and Tim Rice. He went on to study classics, and then philosophy and psychology, at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and philosophy at Wolfson College, Oxford, where he wrote a doctoral thesis on ‘Subjective Experience’.[1] Here, Hardy met Wolfson’s then President, Isaiah Berlin.

Hardy’s first major editorial work was a collection of writings by Arnold Mallinson, an eccentric Oxford clergyman with whom he lodged for 7 years. He published this work under his own imprint (Robert Dugdale). While still a student, Hardy also composed a number of musical pieces, which he published many years later as Tunes: Collected Musical Juvenilia (2003).[2]

In addition to publishing under the pseudonym Robert Dugdale (since 1974), Hardy worked for 13 years (1977–90) as an editor at Oxford University Press, first editing and commissioning in the General Books Department, then commissioning as Senior Editor, Political and Social Studies. At OUP in 1980, inspired by Isaiah Berlin’s insistence on the crucial role of individual thinkers in the history of ideas, he founded the Past Masters series (now absorbed into the Very Short Introductions series). His wish to publish a work of popular philosophy, Making Names, by Andrew Malcolm, was not endorsed by OUP. This was the subject of Malcolm’s landmark legal action against OUP for breach of contract. Hardy’s account of this episode is told in his review[3] of Malcolm’s book about the case. Hardy has been a Fellow of Wolfson College since 1990.

Isaiah Berlin[edit]

Isaiah Berlin, though a towering intellectual figure at the time of his death, was at one stage not regarded as having published very extensively.[4][5] Hardy’s research revealed that Berlin had published well over 150 pieces by the late 1970s.[6]

Hardy's editing of Berlin’s essays made Berlin’s most important work widely available.[4] In 1990 Hardy abandoned his career in publishing to work full-time on Berlin’s unpublished essays, lectures, and correspondence. He has thus far (co-)edited 18 volumes of Berlin’s writings (plus new editions of 12 of these volumes), as well as a 4-volume edition of Berlin’s letters, and two books and a pamphlet about Berlin. In 2018 his memoir In Search of Isaiah Berlin: A Literary Adventure was published by I.B.Tauris.


In 1979 Hardy married the historian of medicine Anne Wilkinson, from whom he separated in 2004; they were divorced in 2012. They have two children, Ellen (b. 1983) and Michael (b. 1985). Hardy married Mary Merry in 2013, and now lives with her and her two daughters Rebecca and Beth in Wirral.


  1. ^ https://www.wolfson.ox.ac.uk/~hardy/lists/unpublished/DPhil-searchable.pdf
  2. ^ https://www.wolfson.ox.ac.uk/~hardy/dugpubs/tunes.html
  3. ^ http://www.wolfson.ox.ac.uk/~hardy/lists/publishedwritings/malcolm.html
  4. ^ a b Ignatieff, Michael (1998). Isaiah Berlin: A Life. London: Chatto & Windus. pp. 279–83. ISBN 0-7011-6325-9. OCLC 40332245.
  5. ^ "Editing Isaiah Berlin's Writings". 1978. Retrieved 2012-10-11.
  6. ^ Hardy, Henry. "Isaiah Berlin's Publications". Retrieved 2012-10-11.

External links[edit]

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