Tryphena Sparks

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Tryphena Sparks (20 March 1851 - 17 March 1890), born in Puddletown, Dorset, the youngest child of James and Maria Sparks, was Thomas Hardy's cousin and possible lover.[1] There are also suggestions that she had Hardy's child, a son called Randolph.[2][3] The relationship ended when Hardy became engaged to Emma Gifford. Sparks was the inspiration for Hardy's poem Thoughts of Phena at News of Her Death.[4] She married Charles Frederick Gale, a publican, 15 December 1877 at Plymouth.[5] She had four children: Eleanor, Charles, George and Herbert. She died from a rupture caused by childbirth and is buried in Topsham, Devon.


  1. ^ "Thomas Hardy: A Biography Revisited - Michael Millgate - Google Books". 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "Hardy and the Rasa Theory - Rama Kant Sharma - Google Books". 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2014. 
  3. ^ Deacon Lois (1966). Providence & Mr. Hardy. Hutchinson. 
  4. ^ Millgate, Michael Thomas Hardy: A Biography Revisited (2004) Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-927566-1
  5. ^ "Exeter Memories - Drakes in Topsham". 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2014.