News & Features

Hardy Day at The Corn Exchange: The Woodlanders

October 5, 2016

Category: Featured | Keywords: the woodlanders

Hardy Day at The Corn Exchange                                                    

Dr Phillip Mallett (University of St. Andrew's)
Dr Ken Ireland (Cambridge University)
Helen Gibson (Dorset County Museum)
2017 will mark the 130th anniversary of the publication of The Woodlanders, Hardy's novel of marital choice, divorce laws, class mobility and Darwinian struggle set in Little Hintock. It depicts individuals in thrall to desire and the natural law that motivates them. On November 21st 1885 Hardy noted – 'Tragedy. It may be put thus in brief: a tragedy exhibits a state of things in the life of an individual which unavoidably causes some natural aim or desire of his to end in a catastrophe when carried out', and thus he began writing the manuscript which would see publication two years later. On February 4th 1887 he declared it 'in some respects my best novel'.
The Thomas Hardy Society warmly invites proposals for twenty-minute presentations on any aspect of The Woodlanders which may include, but are not limited to:
  • Marital choice/Divorce laws/the Married Women's Property Acts
  • Darwinian evolutionary theory
  • Ecology and the landscape
  • Lease-holds and Property law
  • Masculinity/Femininity/Ungendering
  • Philosphy of tragedy
  • Sexuality and morality
  • Religious symbolism and intertextuality
The Society will be offering two bursaries of £50 each to students wishing to attend who would otherwise find travel or accommodation costs prohibitive. Please send proposals of no longer than 350 words, along with a brief description of how a bursary would benefit your studies, to:
Tracy Hayes – THS Student Co-Ordinator by no later than 14th February 2017.


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