The Thomas Hardy London Lecture 2019
'Hardy and His Men' by Dr Tracy Hayes
Lecture Theatre B35, Birkbeck College, Malet St, Bloomsbury, London. 7.30pm.
Many people who think of Hardy think of his women, he is viewed either as a misogynist, or a proto-feminist. But the 'man who used to notice such things' also provided deeply nuanced and complex portrayals of Victorian men. Hardy explored masculinity and what it meant to be 'a man' during the nineteenth century in ways uniquely diverse from that of his contemporaries. He presents us with androgynous villains, female Alpha-Males, Unmen, and monomaniacs among others. This talk will explore Hardy's men and what makes them tick, featuring favourites such as Jude, Henchard and Clym Yeobright, but also the lesser discussed characters, including Aeneas Manston and Will Dare, Christian Cantle and Diggory Venn, Richard Phillotson, Jocelyn Pierston, and Festus Derriman.