Lunchtime Poetry and Music: Thomas Hardy’s ‘Emma Poems’ read by Furse Swann and Sue Theobald

Emma Hardy

Emma Hardy from the Dorset County Museum’s Hardy Collection © DCM

On Thursday 13th June between 1.00pm and 2.00pm Furse Swann and Sue Theobald present a Celebration of Hardy’s love poems.

One of the treasured manuscripts to be found at Dorset County Museum is that of Satires of Circumstance, Thomas Hardy’s fourth book of verse.  At its centre are ‘The Poems of 1912-13’, a collection of poems about his first wife, Emma, who died in November 1912.

Overcome with remorse and an upwelling of love for the young Emma he had first met in Cornwall in 1870, Hardy wrote these elegiac poems – almost certainly the closest to his heart.

To celebrate the centenary of the writing of ‘Poems of 1912-13’, Furse Swann and Sue Theobald read the twenty-one poems that make up the sequence, with the performance of some of the tunes from the Hardy music books, played on fiddles by Lorraine Tillbrook and Elspeth Gracie.

‘O the opal and the sapphire of that wandering western sea,
And the woman riding high above with bright hair flapping free –
The woman whom I loved so, and who loyally loved me.’

Entry to the poetry reading is FREE but a donation of £3.00 is encouraged to cover costs. Everyone is welcome and there is no need to book.  This event will start promptly at 1.00pm.

For further information contact the Museum on 01305 262735 or check the website on

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