The New Book by Professor Mark Ford on Hardy, Emma and Poetry

Woman Much Missed - Book Launch at Waterstones

The New Book by Professor Mark Ford on Hardy, Emma and Poetry

Thursday 20th July 6:30pm - 8:00pm at Waterstones Bookshop, Dorchester

This image may be subject to copyright

Woman Much Missed is the first book-length study of the many poems that Thomas Hardy wrote in the wake of the death of his first wife, Emma, in November 1912. Mark Ford uses these poems to develop a narrative of their four-year courtship on the remote and romantic coast of Cornwall where they met, and then follows Hardy's poetic recreation of the slow degeneration of their marriage and their embittered final decade. He demonstrates how Emma's advice, writings, and experiences were crucial to Hardy's evolution into both a bestselling novelist and one of the greatest poets of the twentieth century.

Although for over a decade their marriage had been troubled, and indeed Emma spent much time during her final years secluded in her attic rooms above his study, Hardy was deeply shocked by her unexpected death. In the months that followed he composed some of the most poignant and powerful elegies in English. Twenty-one of these, including masterpieces such as 'The Voice' (which opens 'Woman much missed, how you call to me, call to me') and 'After a Journey', were collected in 'Poems of 1912–13'. While these have received much attention, his numerous other poems about Emma have only rarely been discussed. Ford corrects this oversight, providing accessible and insightful readings from a poet's perspective.

Mark Ford teaches in the English Department of University College London, where he has been a professor since 2005. He is a poet, critic, and editor, as well as a regular contributor to literary journals such as the New York Review of Books and the London Review of Books. He has also completed two series of an LRB podcast on twentieth-century poets with Seamus Perry. This is his second book on the work of Thomas Hardy. His collection of essays, This Dialogue of One, was the winner of the Poetry Foundation's 2015 Pegasus Award for Poetry Criticism.

This event is free but booking in advance is appreciated.


Event location map

Society calendar
Upcoming events
Latest news
The Thomas Hardy Society 2024
HomeJoin usMenuContact us

This website uses cookies

We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you've provided to them or that they've collected from your use of their services. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

OK Accept Cookies