Sunninghill School, South Court, South Walks Road, Dorchester, Dorset DT1 1EB
Thomas Hardy: Secrets and the Senses
A Thomas Hardy Society Conference Lecture by Professor Dame Gillian Beer
In Hardy's work touch and hearing lie close together. They are both closely related to secrets, their keeping, their spilling, their long delayed emergence. The novelist is a keeper of secrets and that gives him power over his characters and his readers: once a secret is known it is uncontrollable. How does Hardy explore spent secrets? And how do particular senses work in making the reader a part of the mystery that fascinates him?
Professor Dame Gillian Beer is EMeritus King Edward VII Professor of English Literature at the University of Cambridge. She is a Fellow of the British Academy and of the Royal Society of Literature, and is a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Philosophical Society. She was made a Dame in 1998. She has twice been a judge for the Booker Prize, the second time as Chair, and has been on the board of the Writers' Centre, Norwich and Arts Council England East. She is President of the British Association for Literature and Science and General Editor of Cambridge Studies in Nineteenth Century Literature and Culture.
She is a prolific author and literary critic, and among her books are Darwin's Plots: Evolutionary Narrative in Darwin, George Eliot and Nineteenth-Century Fiction (1983, third edition 2009), Open Fields: Science in Cultural Encounter (1996) and Virginia Woolf: the Common Ground (1996). She has published a series of essays on rhyme and a collected and annotated edition of Lewis Carroll’s poems, Jabberwocky and Other Nonsense (2012). Her Alice in Space: the Sideways Victorian World of Lewis Carroll appeared from Chicago University Press in 2016.
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