Thomas Hardy Lecture: The Isle of Portland: Housman and Hardy by Prof. Roger Ebbatson

The character of Pierston, trying to commit suicide by taking his boat into The Race off Portland Bill.

The character of Pierston, trying to commit suicide by taking his boat into The Race off Portland Bill.

The current series of Thomas Hardy events at Dorset County Museum continues with a talk about how local writers have responded to Portland Bill.

On Thursday 29th May, Professor Roger Ebbatson of Lancaster University gives a talk entitled, The Isle of Portland: Some Literary Echoes. Prof Ebbatson will talk about the strange and rugged landscape surrounding Portland Bill; specifically looking at how writers like Thomas Hardy and AE Housman portrayed it in their work.

While Housman focussed on the predicament of a young convict, Hardy explored the landscape and folklore of Portland in his books and poems. In The Pursuit of the Well-Beloved, Hardy describes how one of his characters tries to commit suicide by taking a small boat out from Portland Bill into The Race. Knowing the area’s notorious reputation for strong currents and lethal sandbanks, the man expects that he will soon be drowned. However, his wishes are foiled by the brave actions of island boatmen who rescue him just in time!

The talk is FREE but donations are encouraged to cover costs. The lecture starts at 7.30pm on Thursday 29th May and the doors are open from 7.00pm. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Thomas Hardy's Master: John Hicks, Architect by T. P. Conner

Thomas Hardy’s Master: John Hicks, Architect by T. P. Conner

This lecture will be preceded by a Book Launch: Thomas Hardy’s Master: John Hicks, Architect by T. P. Conner at 6.30pm.  The Victorian architect John Hicks has always been eclipsed by the literary fame of his infinitely most distinguished pupil Thomas Hardy. This study assesses Hicks in his own right and in so doing casts light on Hardy’s years of architectural training. Hardy’s Master is the first attempt to bring the abundant documentation available, including important local newspapers, to bear o the career of an architect who had a profound impact on many Dorset churches. It includes a comprehensive list of architectural projects, both religious and secular, of Hicks’ practice in the county.

T. P. Connor was Head of History and the History of Art at Eaton for nearly twenty years. He has written on early Palladian architecture, the Grand Tour and on a library in the English Civil War in many different journals, and took the chance of retirement to study architecture of his new surroundings.

 

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