Hardy’s Poetry of the First World War by Professor Tim Kendal

Hardys Poetry of the First World WarIn 1899, at the outbreak of hostilities in South Africa, Thomas Hardy was moved to express his loathing of war. Yet at the same time he confessed that his passions were stirred as soon as war became inevitable: ‘few persons are more martial than I,’ he told Florence Henniker, ‘or like better to write of war in prose & rhyme.’

Unlike his Boer War writings, Hardy’s poems of the Great War rarely attempt a documentary account, but they are similarly divided. Moments of Vision (1917) juxtaposes decent and dutiful verses like ‘Men Who March Away’ and ‘A Call to National Service’ with poems like ‘A New Year’s Eve in War Time’ describing horrors, griefs and self-doubt.

On Thursday 24th October 2013 at 7.30pm, Professor Tim Kendal of the University of Exeter will attempt to make sense of these apparent contradictions through an account of Hardy’s complex aesthetic and political reactions to the War.

Entry to the talk is FREE but a donation of £3 is encouraged to cover costs. Everyone is welcome and there is no need to book. Doors open at 7.00pm.

For further information contact the Museum on 01305 262735 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org

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