2019 will mark the 145th anniversary of the publication of 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 145thanniversary of the publication ofFar From the Madding Crowd, the novel whose success allowed Hardy to give up architecture and become a full-time writer. In December 1874The Spectatorsurmised 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. For enquiries or to book a place please contact: The Thomas Hardy Societyinfo@hardysociety.org


9.15 10.00: Registration

10.00 10.15: Welcome and Announcements

10.15 11.15: Trish Ferguson, 'The Gurgoyle: Its Doings'

11.15 12.00: Paul Niemeyer, 'What we see in him: Projections of Manliness in Two Film Adaptations of Far From the Madding Crowd'

12.00 12.15: Refreshment Break

12.15 1.15: Panel 1

Rachel Lehmann, 'The Wessex Cosmos: A Humboldtian Conception of Nature in Hardy's Far From the Madding Crowd'

Carolina Elices, 'The Preservation of Memories, Histories, Fellowships, Fraternities: Human Association in Architecture in Far From the Madding Crowd'

Bill Bell, 'Far From the Madding Crowd and the Agricultural Labourers Strike of 1874'

1.15 1.45: The New Hardy Players 'The Malthouse'

1.45 2.30: Lunch

2.30 3.15: Tony Fincham, 'A Witch's Ride: The Topography of Far From the Madding Crowd'

3.15 4.15: Panel 2

Sophie Welsh, 'Constructing A Modern Wessex: A Paradox of Progress and Preservation'

Yurie Watanabe, 'Sympathy in Distance: Fanny in Far From the Madding Crowd'

Shelley Anne Galpin, 'Teenage Responses to Far From the Madding Crowd (2015)'

4.15 4.30: Refreshment Break

4.30 5.15: Angelique Richardson & Helen Angear, 'Working With Archives: Far From the Madding Crowd at GCSE, A-Level and University'

5.15 5.30: Round Table Q&A Session

5.30 6.15: Wine Reception

6.30: Dinner at Raj Poot Resturant

Event sponsors

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Exeter UniveristyHardy CountryThomas Hardy SocietyThe British Association for Victorian Studies

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