Hardy Events

June 2017:

Join the Thomas Hardy Society to celebrate Hardy’s birthday with a weekend of events June 3 to June 4 2017. For details see the Hardy Society website.

May 2017:


Location: Dorset County Museum – Click for map

Time: 7pm for 7.30pm

Come and join us at Dorset County Museum for an interesting talk by Phillip Mallett on Thomas Hardy’s poetry from 100 years ago.

In his Notebook, Hardy wrote that ‘Reality is one sure fact, and the mind of the artist another’. Poetry is made out of the encounter between the two. This lecture explores a range of such poetic encounters, from his collection Moments of Vision, published 100 years ago.

Phillip Mallett is Honorary Senior Lecturer in English at the University of St Andrews, and Honorary Researcher at Lancaster University.  He is a Vice-President of both the Hardy Society and the Thomas Hardy Association, and since 2008 editor of the Hardy Society’s journals. In addition to essays on writers from John Donne to Larkin and Heaney, his published work includes a biography of Rudyard Kipling, and editions of The Return of the Native and The Mayor of Casterbridge for Norton, of The Woodlanders for Wordsworth Classics, and of Under the Greenwood Tree for Oxford World’s Classics. He has also edited a number of collections of essays, most recently The Victorian Novel and Masculinity for Palgrave.  He is currently working on new editions of Tess for Norton, and of the Mayor for the forthcoming Cambridge edition of Hardy’s novels and stories.

The talk is FREE although a donation of £3 is encouraged to cover costs.

How to book:
For further information contact the Museum on 01305 756827 or email shop@dorsetcountymuseum.org

March 2017:

LITERARY LIVES ‘Hardy and the Victorian Schoolmistress’ a talk by Dr Jonathan Godshaw Memel

Location: Dorset County Museum – Click for map

Time: 7.00pm for 7.30pm

Dorset County Museum, the University of Exeter and the National Trust are pleased to present the 2017 Thomas Hardy Public Lecture Series. Join them for an informative and entertaining lectures on the celebrated Dorset writer and poet, Thomas Hardy

‘… she had altogether the air of a woman clipped and pruned by severe discipline, an under-brightness shining through from the depths which that discipline had not yet been able to reach.’

(Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure)

This description of Sue Bridehead during her brief time at college suggests the restrictive character of nineteenth-century teacher training.

The two-year programme at Salisbury enforced standards of ‘humble femininity’ while preparing women from various social backgrounds for a vocation in the elementary schools. Hardy’s sisters, Mary and Katharine (generally known as Kate), attended college at Salisbury while his cousin, Tryphena Sparks, trained at Stockwell.

As schoolmistresses their profession enabled greater independence from the pressure to marry, but their personal freedom was severely restricted during the process of qualifying. Trainee teachers were required to carry out extensive chores and study for long hours and their food portions were meagre. They were also subject to continual surveillance, while their choice of dress was restricted.

This talk will consider representations of the work and training of female teachers in Thomas Hardy’s fiction, showing how the experiences of his female relations inspired acts of solidarity and resistance in his writing.

This lecture is FREE although a donation of £3 is encouraged to help cover costs.

How to book:
For further information contact the Museum on 01305 756827 or email shop@dorsetcountymuseum.org



July 2016:

Celebrating 130 years since the publication of The Mayor of Casterbridge, the 22nd International THOMAS HARDY Conference & Festival will be held in Dorchester from Saturday 23rd to Saturday 30th July 2016.

For more information visit http://www.hardysociety.org/society-conference