Barbara Hardy (1924-2016) was an internationally renowned academic, and was especially known for her extensive work on nineteenth-century authors, including George Eliot, Dickens, Thackeray and Austen. In addition to her critical work, Hardy also undertook creative writing, including poetry and short stories. Seren published her autobiography, Swansea Girl, in 1994. Despite the poverty she experienced growing up, Hardy's intelligence and determination resulted in her achieving a B.A. and later an M.A. from University College London. Hardy was also a committed and passionate teacher; she taught and researched as a professor of English at Birkbeck and at Royal Holloway College. Amongst other awards, Hardy was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1997 and a Senior Fellow of the British Academy in 2006.