Hardy 100 Years Ago - by Rod Drew

Quizzing with Hardy

Hardy: 100 years ago


Extracts from “The Life”

Dictated to Mrs Florence Hardy by Thomas Hardy

Publisher: Macmillan 1964

 

Complete the blanks! (Answers next month - January 2021)

1920

9th Jan ‘I want some day to get my poem, “When I Set Out For (1) Ly_ _ _ _ _se” set to music ... to a pretty country tune that common people can sing.’


19th Jan ‘Coming back from Talbothayes at night saw (2) O_ _ _n upside down in a pool of water under an oak’.


24th Jan ‘Letter to Secretary of “The Naval League” ... Both Sir (3) Ad_ _ _ _l Thomas Hardy’s family and mine ... Dorset families for centuries ... reputed to come from the same (4) anc_ _try ... branched apart before the (5) Ad_ _ _ _l’s time.’

 

10th Feb ‘Lunch in Oxford with (6) Ev_ _ _n and Margaret Gifford, nieces of Emma Hardy and daughters of the late Archdeacon, Dr Gifford. (He ‘married’ Tom and Emma in (7)18_4, Sep 17th when (8) C_ _ _n of (9) Wor_ _ _ter).’


‘After lunch, received Hon. (10) D_ _ _ee of (11) D_ _ _or of (12) L_ _ _ _rs, (13) O_ _ _rd University.

Met Robert B(14)_ _ _ _es (Poet L(15) _ _ _ _ _ te) and John Masef(16)_ _ _d (Poet L(17)_ _ _ _ te ‘in waiting’).’


‘Evening performance of Hardy’s adaptation of his “Dynasts” by the (18) Ox_ _ rd

(19) Un_ _ _ _ _ _ty (20)Dr_ _ _ _ic Society ... ‘everything that could be desired.’

Returned from theatre at one o’clock.


18th Feb Letter responding to the proposal to include Hardy in a Biographical Dictionary of Modern Rationalists:

‘He is rather an (21) irr_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _st on account of his (22) inconsi_ _ _ _ _ies and could show human (23) act_ _n not ruled by (24) re_ _ _n at all ... some of his (25) p_ _ _s being mere impressions.

The honourable body he admires for their ... permanent convictions... he does not think they can claim their title.’


7th March Letter to ... Royal Institute of British Arc_ _ _ _ _ _ts inviting nomination as an Hon. F_ _ _ow.

‘I like to be reminded that I once knew what a ‘T’ sq_ _re was ...

But if any doubt in the mind of any member ... don’t propose it.’


25th March Joined National Committee for acquiring Wentworth Place [occupied for 2 years by poet John (29) K_ _ _s.]

(Period houses to be demolished for a new line of flats - see ‘Keats House’ N.T. Handbook 2020)


21 April ... with F to St Margaret’s Westminster to the wedding of (30) Ha_ _ _d Mac(34)_ _ _ _an son of Alexander, publisher of Hardy’s poems and novels. Signed as formal witness.

(In 1968 Harold, ex (32) P_ _ _e Minister became the first President of ‘The Thomas Hardy Society’ at its inaugural meeting at ‘The T_ _ _ _ _t Major’ Pub, Dorchester, which he also formally opened.)


14th May ‘Motored with F and K_ _e to Exeter. Cathedral Service - Croft’s anthem “God is gone Up”. Felt I should be a cathedral (35) or_ _ _ _ st to anything in the world.’


End of May Letter from Charles Moule thanking Hardy for his letter of condolence on the death of his last surviving brother, Handley. (A younger brother, Horace, a brilliant scholar, a close friend and mentor to the young Hardy, committed suicide in 1873.)

The Moule family served as models for (36) A_ _ _l Clare and his brothers, father and mother in “Tess of the (37) D’Ur_ _ _ _ _ _ _ es”. Horace was the “dark he” in “The Five (38) St_ _ _nts” poem.


2nd June Eightieth birthday ... received deputation from The Society of Authors of which he is is (39) Pr _ _ _ _ _nt ... and messages from King George (40) F_ _ _ h, Lord

M(41)_ _ _r of (42)L_ _ _ _ n, and (43) P_ _ _e Minister.


birthday notes ... the value of old age depends upon the (44) p_ _ _ _n who reaches it.

Nature’s Indifference ... the last (1914-18) War of no importance to (it), except as a sort of geological (45) f_ _ _t in her continuity.


If only the young and feeble League of Nations stands between us and the destruction of (46) civ _ _ _z_ _ _on makes one feel ‘rather to be old than young’... should such an overrun arrive (47) po_ _ry will be ... first to go.


Following Week ... engaged on the scheme of establishing a S.W. University at (48) E_ _ _ _r.


23 August Letter to Society of Authors ...’I have been moved by such a mark of such good feeling - affection as I may call it ... whose ‘do (49) no_ _ _ng’ (50) Pr_ _ _ _ _ _t I have been for many years.


6th Sep Death of Evelyn Gifford aged 44 years (Emma’s niece) ‘Wrote poem “Evelyn G of (51) Ch_ _ _ _m_ _ _ _er” in tribute.’


11th Nov Hardy’s poem “And there was a Great (52) C_ _m” written to order for The Times Armistice Supplement.


13th Dec Dorchester Amateurs performed “The Return of the (53) N_ _ _ _e” directed by Mr T _ _ _ey (54).‘More interested than I expected ... The dancing ... just as it used to be at (55) H_ _ _ _r Bockhampton in my childhood.’


—“— Letter to Mr Alfred Noyes who had always been a friendly critic ...

‘... an article ... reports you as saying mine is “a philosophy which told that the Power behind the (56) Un_ _ _ _se was an imbecile jester ...” and referred to various (57) p_ _ _s that ‘bear that belief.’

I hold no such (58) ph_ _ _ _ _ _ _y*...merely ... a confused heap of (59) impr_ _ _ _ _ns, like those of a bewildered child at a conjuring show.’

(*N.B. See source book for full reply and exposition of this important aspect of Hardy’s thinking to Mr Noyes pp. 407-411.)

‘The scheme of things is incomprehensible; and there we must leave it - perhaps for the best. (60) Kn_ _ _ _ _ge might be terrible!


23rd Dec To The New York World. Yes I approve of (61) In_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _al Disarmament on the lines indicated by The New York World.


About Christmas the song entitled (62) W_ _n I S_t O_t F_r Ly(66) _ _ _ _ _ _ e was published as set to music by Mr Charles A. Speyer (11 more versions by 1970.)


25th Dec Tonight the carol singers and mummers came to Max Gate, the latter performing the Play of St G(67)_ _ _ _e just as he had seen it performed in this childhood.


31st Dec ... a poem by Hardy called ‘At the (68) Ent_ _ _ _g of the N(69)_w Y _ _r appeared in the Athenaeum.


The New Year found (70) H_ _ _y sitting up to hear the (71) Be_ _s which he had not done for some time. 

 


Poems of 1920 (first appeared in ‘Victorian Poetry’ Issue 37 Spring 1999) then reprinted in The Thomas Hardy Journal February 2002.

The numbers of each poem as in James Gibson’s ‘Complete Poems’


April “At a Rehearsal of one of J.M.B’s plays” (944)

July “At a House in Hampstead” (530)

August “A Wet August” (533)

September “At Lulworth Cove A Century Back” (556)

“Evelyn G of Christminster” (578)

November “And There Was A Great Calm” (545) 1920 conjecturally dated

“Green Slates” (678) [perhaps since “fifty years have flown” since 1870]

“The Play of St George”

“If You Had Known” (592)

“Our Old Friend Dualism” (881)

“A Philosophical Fantasy” (884) [1920 and 1926]

“The Chapel-Organist” (593) [perhaps]

“The Seven Times” (652) [perhaps] 

This image may be subject to copyright


Season’s Greetings from Roderick Grant-Drew

(Volunteer - Max Gate)

December 2020

 

** Herewith the answers to this fiendishly difficult quiz! **

1.         Lyonnesse                   35.       organist

2.         Orion                          36.       Angel

3.         Admiral                       37.       D’Urbervilles

4.         ancestry                      38.       Students

5.         Admiral’s                     39.       President

6.         Evelyn                         40.       Fifth

7.         1874                           41.       Major

8.         Canon                         42.       London

9.         Worcester                    43.       Prime

10.       Degree                        44.       person

11.       Doctor                         45.       fault

12.       Letters                         46.       civilization

13.       Oxford                         47.       poetry

14.       Bridges                        48.       Exeter

15.       Laureate                      49.       Nothing

16.       Masefield                     50.       President

17.       Laureate                      51.       Christminster

18.       Oxford                         52.       Calm

19.       University                    53.       Native

20.       Dramatic                      54.       Tilley

21.       irrationalist                   55.       Higher

22.       inconsistencies              56.       Universe

23.       action                           57.       poem

24.       reason                          58.       philosophy

25.       poems                          59.       impressions

26.      Architects                      60.       Knowledge

 

 

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