Thomas Hardy Lecture: Life is a Game of Chess by Rebecca Welshman

Thomas Hardy in his Study Dorset County Museum © 2013

Thomas Hardy in his Study Dorset County Museum © 2013

The last in the current series of Thomas Hardy talks at Dorset County Museum will investigate Hardy’s use of the origins and strategies of classic games in his fiction writing.

Rebecca Welshman of the University of Exeter has studied how Thomas Hardy’s familiarity with the ancient origins and principles of games informed some of the key scenes in his novels. In The Mayor of Casterbridge, for example, Hardy describes Casterbridge as a ‘chessboard’, and Maumbury Rings – the former site of Gladiatorial games – as an ‘arena’ in which the games of human relationships are played out.

The talk also explores how Hardy strategically employs games such as chess, cards and dice to direct the fates of his characters and how chance and strategy are principles of his fiction writing.

Rebecca’s talk entitled, Life is a Game of Chess: Hardy, Games and Prehistoric Landscapes, will take place on Thursday 30th October in the Museum’s Victorian Hall. The event is FREE but donations are encouraged to cover costs. The talk starts at 7.30pm and the doors are open from 7.00pm. All are welcome to attend.

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