A revised programme in light of Covid-19.

The Thomas Hardy Society Revised Programme for 2020

In response to Covid-19 restrictions on public assembly


Saturday 6th – Sunday 7th June Thomas Hardy’s Birthday Weekend CANCELLED

Saturday 11th – Saturday 18th July The 24th THOMAS HARDY FESTIVAL and CONFERENCE POSTPONED UNTIL 10th – 17th JULY 2021.

The Following Events are dependent on public assembly restrictions having been lifted by this time:

Saturday 24th October The Trumpet-Major Study Day

10.00 am The Town Hall, Dorchester, Dorset DT1 1HF


Professor Mary Rimmer (University of New Brunswick)

Dr Faysal Mikdadi (THS Academic Director)

Jerry Bird (Folklore Society, Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society)

Andrew North (Military Historian) and Mark North (Dorset County Museum)

And a performance by the New Hardy Players

2020 will mark the 150th anniversary of the publication of The Trumpet-Major. Hardy classed it as one of his 'Romances and Fantasies', and it was much more warmly received by his contemporaries than its predecessor The Return of the Native. It has been described as a humorous, picturesque, romantic tale based on historical fact, one of a number of works Hardy wrote revolving around the Napoleonic Wars, including The Dynasts and a number of short stories. Containing passages of both hilarity and poignancy, it records the interruption into rural routine of a military presence readying itself for battle with Bonaparte, and how this impacts upon the lives of the Lovedays, the Garlands and the Derrimans.

Tickets: £20 or Student / unwaged £10. (To include all refreshments, a buffet lunch and a wine reception at the conclusion of the day.)

Saturday 24th October The Thomas Hardy Society Annual General Meeting

6.00 pm The Town Hall, Dorchester, Dorset DT1 1HF

Sunday 25th October 10.30 am: A Stinsford & North Dorchester Walk – in conjunction with STAND: www.stand-dorchester.net Led by Tony Fincham.

A full exploration of the Hardyan Countryside which would be destroyed by the proposed housing development over the downland to the north of Dorchester, relating especially to The Mayor of Casterbridge, Far from the Madding Crowd, ‘The Three Strangers’, and much of Hardy’s poetry. Meet at Thomas Hardy’s Statute in the North Walks for an 8.5 mile via Coker’s Frome and Kingston Maurward to Waterston Ridge and Fiddler’s Green, then returning via Higher Burton to the water meadows. Refreshment stops near Higher Kingston & at The Sun Inn, Lower Burton, but taking a packed lunch may well be advisable.

Thursday 12th November The Thomas Hardy London lecture.

7.30 pm: Birkbeck College, London

Dr Hugh Epstein: ‘The Nature of Awareness in Hardy’s Fiction’. 

(The date for this lecture will not be definitely confirmed until September 2020).

Tony Fincham - Honorary THS Chairman

Tracy Hayes - Honorary THS Secretary

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