D. H. Lawrence's Study of Thomas Hardy (1936), indicates the importance of Hardy for him, even though this work is a platform for Lawrence's own developing philosophy rather than a more standard literary study. The influence of Hardy's treatment of character, and Lawrence's own response to the central metaphysic behind many of Hardy's novels, helped significantly in the development of The Rainbow (1915) and Women in Love (1920). A contemporary of Lawrence, John Cowper Powys's first novel, Wood and Stone (1915) was "Dedicated with devoted admiration to the greatest poet and novelist of our age Thomas Hardy".
Hardy was clearly the starting point for the character of the novelist Edward Driffield in W Somerset Maugham's novel Cakes and Ale (1930). Thomas Hardy's works also feature prominently in the American playwright Christopher Durang's The Marriage of Bette and Boo (1985), in which a graduate thesis analysing Tess of the d'Urbervilles is interspersed with analysis of Matt's family's neuroses.
Hardy has been a significant influence on Nigel Blackwell, frontman of the post-punk British rock band Half Man Half Biscuit, who has often incorporated phrases (some obscure) by or about Hardy, into his song lyrics.