The Chosen by Elizabeth Lowry

The Chosen by Elizabeth LowryThe Thomas Hardy Society’s Annual Lecture

The Chosen by Elizabeth Lowry

A Times Best Historical Fiction Book of 2022

Shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2023

Who pays the price of a writer’s fame?

When Thomas Hardy’s first wife Emma died in November 1912, he discovered a set of secret diaries she’d left behind, titled ‘What I Think of My Husband’. That was only the beginning of his problems. Join author Elizabeth Lowry as she talks about the challenges of writing biographical fiction, and about a marriage gone wrong, in her new novel The Chosen. Praised by Hilary Mantel as being ‘delicate, finely judged and full of insight’, The Chosen is both a love story and a ghost story, as well as the story of how some of the greatest love poems in English, Hardy’s Poems of 1912-13, came to be written.

Warning: contains images of previously unseen manuscripts from the Dorset Museum. High risk of lively discussion to follow. All views welcome.

Elizabeth Lowry is a frequent contributor to The London Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement, The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Wall Street Journal, and other papers. Her previous novels include Dark Water, which was a Times and New Statesman Book of the Year and was longlisted for the 2019 Walter Scott Prize. She lives and works in Oxford.

Read more about her at, or follow her on Twitter (@MElizabethLowry) and Instagram (@melizabethlowry).

Tickets: £5 | 

Please book tickets here:


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