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Thomas Hardy Confidential

Secret loves of his life?


Wed 12 Jun - Sun 16 Jun 2019


Space is available on this event! :-D


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Othona West Dorset – the best seaside retreat on the south coast?

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Thomas Hardy is known mostly for his powerful novels set here in Dorset. But what do you know of his literary first love, his poetry? And what about the ‘secret’ love affair of his youth that haunted and helped shape his writing for decades to come? See where he lived, walk the path he and his girlfriend trod, discover more of his poems, even his favourite music.

We’ll learn about these lesser-known aspects of Hardy from two experts, Graham Fawcett and Nicholas Hillyard. On Saturday evening the New Hardy Players folk band Tatterdemalion come to lead us in a ceilidh evening (caller Angela Laycock) with dance tunes Hardy himself knew and played. (If dancing isn't your thing, just enjoy the tunes!)

Add to all this walks and visits to the key places he lived, we can look forward to a fascinating fresh appreciation of a great writer and the people and places he immortalised.

Convening the event is Virginia Astley, who has been deeply involved with Hardy's Cottage (as writer in residence) and with Max Gate, the house he designed for himself in later life.




Fee Type

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Adult £240
Adult with Single Supplement £280
Deposit £  30


Arrival + Departure Times

(Learn about Arrival+Departure)

Arrive between 4.00 - 6.30 pm
Depart after 2.30 pm


1893 Etching of Thomas Hardy

1893 Etching of Thomas Hardy | © Thomas Shahan/Flickr (Courtesy of Culture Trip)

Musicians dressed in English traditional clothing holding their instruments lying in a group on the floor grinning


12 Jun 2019 18:30 to 16 Jun 2019 14:30