A THS Conference/Festival Lecture by Dr Gregory Tate

'Thomas Hardy's Pure English'

A THS Conference/Festival Lecture by Dr Gregory Tate

Thursday 28th July at 9.15am - The United Church, Dorchester

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This talk will explore Hardy's conflicting responses to late-Victorian debates about grammatical prescriptivism and linguistic purism. While Hardy claimed that "purism, whether in grammar or vocabulary, almost always means ignorance", he also frequently expressed his interest in the (perhaps unrealisable) ideal of a "pure English" founded on unambiguous grammatical rules. Focusing on Tess sof the d'Urbervilles, a novel subtitled "A Pure Woman", the talk will consider how Hardy's opinions on grammar influenced the language of his fiction. And it will suggest an analogy between Hardy's view on oral and linguistic purity: in each case, he rejects narrow and ignorant estimations of purity, while at the same time championing an ideal that transcends the limitations of conventional purisms.

Gregory Tate is a Senior Lecturer in Victorian Literature at the University of St Andrews. He is the author of two books - The Poet's Mind: The Psychology of Victorian Poetry (2012) and Nineteenth-Century Poetry and the Physical Sciences: Poetical Matter (2020) - and the editor of a selected edition of the poetry and prose of Arhtur Hugh Clough. He is currently writing a book about English grammar and literary style in Victorian poetry and prose, and is co-organising a research network on dialect and multilingualism in Victorian literature.


This lecture is free to full conference delegates. However tickets can be purchased for £10 (£8 for members) here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/thomas-hardys-pure-english-by-dr-gregory-tate-tickets-301489401917

For any enquiries please contact THS Secretary - Dr Tracy Hayes - info@hardysociety.org


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