The Corn Exchange, High Street East, Dorchester, Dorset, DT1 1HF
FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD
A Thomas Hardy Society Study Day in association with the University of Exeter
KEYNOTE SPEAKERS: Trish Ferguson (Liverpool Hope University), Paul Niemeyer (Texas A&M International University), Tony Fincham (University of Kent and The Thomas Hardy Society), Angelique Richardson (University of Exeter) and Helen Angear (University of Exeter and DCM).
2019 will mark the 145th anniversary of the publication of Far From the Madding Crowd, the novel whose success allowed Hardy to give up architecture and become a full-time writer. In December 1874 The Spectator surmised that 'either George Eliot had written it, or she had found her match'. Hardy's delineation of character was divisive from the outset, R.H. Hutton declared Sargent Troy and Farmer Boldwood to be 'conceived and executed with very great power'; while Henry James memorably stated that 'the only things we believe in are the sheep and the dogs'. It is a tale of sexual hypocrisy, female emancipation and male insanity, yet also contains passages of sparkling wit and humour, the rustics and the rural countryside being 'painted with the pen of a considerable artist' according to one contemporary critic.
This is a day designed to appeal to academics and general enthusiasts alike, and will include workshops, interactive presentations and even a performance by the New Hardy Players. Fees (which include refreshments, a buffet lunch, and a wine reception) are £20, or £10 for students and unwaged. Enquiries to The Thomas Hardy Society email@example.com