In a letter to a scholar who had asked Cather about her influences, she said, among other things, that the "[t]one of British writers of that period, including Hardy, [was] sometimes mechanical or patronizing, though it doesn't really bother her."
In another, Cather opines that the most recent writer necessary to read in high school is Thomas Hardy.
In a 1901 Courier article, Cather writes: "Whether [Eden Phillpotts] will sustain his objective study and delineation of character as wonderfully as Thomas Hardy has done, it is too soon to say; but like him he has heard the heartbeats of the people and he is more of a poet than Hardy ever was."
Hardy wrote many well-known novels, short stories, and poems. In Not Under Forty, Cather does not specify which Hardy she read. She only acknowledges that "the ear can immediately recognize Flaubert, Stendhal, Merimee, Thomas Hardy, Conrad, Brahms, Cezar Franck."