Thomas Hardy: Fate, Exclusion and Tragedy
A Brand New Sky Arts Documentary for September
Novelist, poet and social critic, Thomas Hardy was a man of enormous depth and character with a distinctive darkness about him. Hardy's life is now explored in an illuminating new documentary THOMAS HARDY: FATE, EXCLUSION AND TRAGEDY by Odyssey Television and premiering on Sky Arts on Tuesday 14th September 2021. Author of classics such as Far from the Madding Crowd, Tess of the d'Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure, Hardy's work reflects the human tragedy of his characters' lives as they struggle with their passions, fate, and their position in society, always with the utmost compassion and in vivid detail.
Hardy's modest upbringing made him aware of the hypocrisies of Victorian class society. As his popularity rose, he became increasingly conscious of a feeling of being between classes, of loving London Society but never feeling part of it. This, matched with his love for nature, meant he preferred to spend much of his time in the rolling landscapes of his Dorset home, the land he called Wessex. Hardy focused his novels on the social specificities and suffering of the people that lived there with brooding vision.
THOMAS HARDY: FATE, EXCLUSION AND TRAGEDY explores Hardy's complicated relationship with women, both in his works and life. Hardy married his first wife Emma in 1874. He fell genuinely and profoundly in love with her, but this intense love was to last for just two years. Love and respect turned to hostility and bitterness in the last years of Emma's life. At the same time, Hardy fell in love with a young writer - 39 years his junior - Florence Dugdale. Following Emma's sudden and unexpected death, Hardy married Florence. His profound experience of and reaction to Emma's death affected him intensely. It produced a great explosion of what was to be his greatest poetic work. It also marked a pronounced shift in his character. Hardy regretted the way he had treated his wife and as he remembered the intensity of his love for her.
THOMAS HARDY: FATE, EXCLUSION AND TRAGEDY delves into his incredible abilities as a writer, a critic of the oppressive forces of society and looks at Hardy's ability to eloquently chastise the values of the world he inhabited with an acute sense of compassion for human tragedy, as a man haunted by both rage and empathy. The programme also includes extracts from leading feature films based on Hardy novels, including Kate Winslet and Christopher Ecclestone in Jude, Eddie Redmayne and Gemma Arterton in Tess of the d'Urbervilles, and Julie Christie in Far from the Madding Crowd.
THOMAS HARDY: FATE, EXCLUSION AND TRAGEDY
Produced and directed by Adrian Munsey and Vance Goodwin.
© Odyssey Television MMXXI.
TX Date: Tuesday 14th September 2021
Running Time: 48 minutes
Featuring: Professor Ralph Pite, Claire Tomalin, Professor Dinah Birch, Professor Angelique Richardson
Narrated by: Anna Wilson-Jones. Music by: Adrian Munsey