Literary Lives: Mr Hardy and Mrs Henniker – An Enduring Friendship in Letters by Helen Angear

Thomas Hardy LettersCome and join us on Thursday 27 July 2017 at 7.30pm, for an interesting talk by Helen Angear who has been working on the Thomas Hardy Correspondence Archive at Dorset County Museum. 

“It occurred to me the other day that this year completes the eighteenth of our friendship. That is rather good as between man and woman, which is usually so brittle” (Aug. 1911).  So wrote Hardy to Florence Henniker, an aristocratic lady and fellow writer he met in 1893. Hardy’s comment might make you think of the 1989 film ‘When Harry Met Sally’ and the unresolved question of whether men and women can ever be ‘just friends’.

In fact, Hardy and Henniker’s platonic friendship lasted almost thirty years and both sides of their correspondence exist within the archive to tell the story. Henniker’s gift of an inkstand, sent in the post in 1893, can also be seen in Hardy’s study upstairs in the Museum. This talk examines the important role that letters played in their enduring friendship. I seek to dispel the assumption that this is simply a story of unrequited love and reveal how their dialogue provides an understanding of intimate, but non-marital, social bonds between the sexes at the turn of the century.

A selection of the letters will also be on display.

Helen Angear

Helen Angear

Helen Angear is an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award student at the University of Exeter, in collaboration with Dorset County Museum.  She is working on the Hardy correspondence archive, and her PhD is called Thomas Hardy’s Correspondents: Proximity and Distance in Postal Communication’. Helen is also an Associate Lecturer at Exeter College.

The forthcoming lecture will take place on Thursday 27 July 2017 in the Dorset County Museum’s Victorian Hall and is FREE to the public; however a donation of £3 encouraged to cover costs. Doors open at 7.00pm and talks start at 7.30pm.

For further information contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Literary Lives – Hardy and the Poetry of Encounter by Phillip Mallett

Philip Mallett - Image- Mark North_DCM © 2017

Philip Mallett

Come and join us for an interesting talk by Phillip Mallett on Thomas Hardy’s poetry from 100 years ago.

In his Notebook, Hardy wrote that ‘Reality is one sure fact, and the mind of the artist another’. Poetry is made out of the encounter between the two. This lecture explores a range of such poetic encounters, from his collection Moments of Vision, published 100 years ago.

Phillip Mallett is Honorary Senior Lecturer in English at the University of St Andrews, and Honorary Researcher at Lancaster University.  He is a Vice-President of both the Hardy Society and the Thomas Hardy Association, and since 2008 editor of the Hardy Society’s journals. In addition to essays on writers from John Donne to Larkin and Heaney, his published work includes a biography of Rudyard Kipling, and editions of The Return of the Native and The Mayor of Casterbridge for Norton, of The Woodlanders for Wordsworth Classics, and of Under the Greenwood Tree for Oxford World’s Classics. He has also edited a number of collections of essays, most recently The Victorian Novel and Masculinity for Palgrave.  He is currently working on new editions of Tess for Norton, and of the Mayor for the forthcoming Cambridge edition of Hardy’s novels and stories.

The forthcoming lecture will take place on Thursday 25 May 2017 in the Dorset County Museum’s Victorian Hall and is FREE to the public; however a donation of £3 encouraged to cover costs. Doors open at 7.00pm and talks start at 7.30pm.

For further information contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

 

Literary Lives: Thomas Hardy and the Victorian School Mistress by Dr Jonathan Godshaw Memel

Kate Hardy (front left) with other teachers © DCM

Kate Hardy (front left) with other teachers © DCM

‘… she had altogether the air of a woman clipped and pruned by severe discipline, an under-brightness shining through from the depths which that discipline had not yet been able to reach.’

(Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure)

This description of Sue Bridehead during her brief time at college suggests the restrictive character of nineteenth-century teacher training. The two-year programme at Salisbury enforced standards of ‘humble femininity’ while preparing women from various social backgrounds for a vocation in the elementary schools.

Hardy’s sisters, Mary and Katharine (generally known as Kate), attended college at Salisbury while his cousin, Tryphena Sparks, trained at Stockwell.  As schoolmistresses their profession enabled greater independence from the pressure to marry, but their personal freedom was severely restricted during the process of qualifying. Trainee teachers were required to carry out extensive chores and study for long hours and their food portions were meagre. They were also subject to continual surveillance, while their choice of dress was restricted.

In this talk Dr Memel will consider representations of the work and training of female teachers in Hardy’s fiction, showing how the experiences of his female relations inspired acts of solidarity and resistance in his writing.

The forthcoming lecture will take place on Thursday 2 March in the Dorset County Museum’s Victorian Hall and is FREE to the public; however a donation of £3 encouraged to cover costs. Doors open at 7.00pm and talks start at 7.30pm.

For further information contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Next Literary Lives talks:

  • Thursday 25th May, Hardy and Poetry of Encounter by Philip Mallett
  • Thursday 27th July, Mr Hardy and Mrs Henniker – an Enduring Friendship by Helen Angear
  • Thursday 14th September, The Infants’ Grammar by Dr Alan Chedzoy
  • Thursday 26th October, Hardy and Sex Education by Dr Karin Koeler

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Mammoth Book Sale at Dorset County Museum

Book Sale at Dorset County Museum

The Dorset County Museum’s popular annual sale of second-hand books will be taking place on 11, 12 and 14 November 2015 between 10am to 4pm.

Thousands of quality books will be sold at bargain prices – fact, fiction, hardback and softback. Hundreds of subjects and genres will be represented including Dorset, travel, history, music, art and gardening.  A wide selection of fiction will also be available including hard and soft backs. A few minutes’ careful searching could reveal untold treasures!

In addition, there will be a sale of Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society publications at knock-down prices – available only to buyers who visit the sale in person.

All proceeds go towards the upkeep of the Museum and its extensive collections.

Dorset County Museum Book Sale 2012Donations of good quality second hand books will be gratefully received up to and including Friday 11 November.

The Museum’s well-stocked gift shop is also worth a visit with Christmas lines now available, and the popular tea room awaits weary bargain hunters.

Everyone is welcome and entry to the sale is FREE – it would help the Museum if visitors could bring their own bags as supplies of plastic bags will be limited. Please note the Museum will NOT be open on Sunday 13 November.

For further information contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Mammoth Book Sale at Dorset County Museum

Book Sale at Dorset County MuseumThe Dorset County Museum’s popular annual sale of second-hand books will be taking place on Friday 20, Saturday 21 and Monday 23 November 2015 between 10am to 4pm.

Thousands of quality books will be sold at bargain prices – fact, fiction, hardback and softback. Hundreds of subjects and genres will be represented including Dorset, travel, history, music, art and gardening . A wide selection of fiction will also be available including hard and soft backs. A few minutes’ careful searching could reveal untold treasures!

Dorset County Museum Book Sale 2012In addition, there will be a sale of Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society publications at knock-down prices – available only to buyers who visit the sale in person.
All proceeds go towards the upkeep of the Museum and its extensive collections.

Donations of good quality second hand books will be gratefully received up to and including Friday 13 November.

The Museum’s well-stocked gift shop is also worth a visit with Christmas lines now available, and the popular tea room awaits weary bargain hunters.

Everyone is welcome and entry to the sale is FREE – it would help the Museum if visitors could bring their own bags as supplies of plastic bags will be limited. Please note the Museum will NOT be open on Sunday 22 November.

For further information contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Blockbuster Sale of Second-Hand Books at Museum

Book Sale at Dorset County MuseumA blockbuster sale of second-hand books will be taking place at Dorset County Museum on 24th, 25th and 27th October 2014.

Thousands of quality books will be sold at bargain prices – fact, fiction, hardback and softback. Hundreds of subjects will be represented including travel, history, music, art and gardening. A wide selection of fiction will also be available including hard and soft backs. A few minutes’ careful searching could reveal untold treasures!

In addition, there will be a sale of Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society and Dorset Record Society publications at knock-down prices – available only to buyers who visit the sale in person. The Museum’s well-stocked gift shop is also well worth a visit with Christmas lines now available, and the popular tea room awaits weary bargain hunters.

All proceeds go towards the upkeep of the Museum and its extensive collections.
Everyone is welcome and entry to the sale is free – it would help the Museum if visitors could bring their own bags as supplies of plastic bags will be limited. Please note the Museum will NOT be open on Sunday 26th November.

Donations of good quality second hand books will be gratefully received up to and including Friday 17th October.

For more information please Tel: 01305 262735 or visit our website at www.dorsetcountymuseum.org

New Appeal Launched at Dorset County Museum

Dorset County Museum AppealLast week saw the launch of a brand new fundraising appeal at Dorset County Museum.

The new Development Appeal has been set up to raise money for a purpose-built facility in the centre of Dorchester to store the Museum’s extensive collections and provide working areas for volunteers and visiting researchers.  In addition, the project will include a bespoke education and lecture room for use by both schools and the local community.

Individuals wishing to support the scheme have the opportunity to buy a personalised plaque which will be placed in prime position on the Museum’s dramatic staircase.  They will also receive free entry to the Museum for a year and their name will be added to the development appeal donation register.  The cost of a plaque is £100.

Jon Murden (centre), Peter Down (second from front), Paul Atterbury (front) and Museum volunteers launch the fundraising project at Dorset County Museum

Jon Murden (centre), Peter Down (second from front), Paul Atterbury (front) and Museum volunteers launch the fundraising project at Dorset County Museum

The first plaque was bought by Museum advocate Paul Atterbury from the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow.  Paul has recently become a trustee at the Museum and wanted to show his support for the project.  His plaque has been named in memory of his great uncle Lewis who died during the Battle of the Somme.

Museum director Jon Murden said, “We are hoping for a good response to this new appeal – the money raised will be used to kick-start the project and we will then be seeking financial support from major trusts and fundraising bodies like the Heritage Lottery Fund.“

Further fundraising events are planned for next year. Jon added, “We want to get local people involved because the project will include new galleries and archives which will be accessible to the public. Ultimately everyone will benefit because we will be able to display many more objects from our unique collections.“

Anyone wishing to support the campaign by buying a plaque should contact the Museum on 01305 262735 or see the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org.

Monster Book Sale at the Dorset County Museum

Dorset County Museum Book Sale 2012

Last years successful book sale at the Dorset County Museum

Dorset County Museum is holding a massive second-hand book sale from Friday 22nd to Monday 25th November between 10.00am and 4.00pm.

Thousands of quality books will be sold at bargain prices – fact, fiction, hardback and softback. Hundreds of subjects will be represented including travel, history, music, art and gardening.  A wide selection of fiction will also be available including hard and soft backs. A few minutes’ careful searching could reveal untold treasures!

In addition, there will be a sale of Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society and Dorset Record Society publications at knock-down prices – available only to buyers who visit the sale in person.  The Museum’s well-stocked gift shop is also well worth a visit with Christmas lines now available, and the popular tea room awaits weary bargain hunters.

All proceeds go towards the upkeep of the Museum and its extensive collections.

Everyone is welcome and entry to the sale is free – it would help the Museum if visitors could bring their own bags as supplies of plastic bags will be limited.

Please note the Museum will not be open on Sunday 24th November.

For more information contact the Museum on 01305 262735 or visit the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org.

Lecture: Taxidermy – Past and Present by Jonathan McGowan

Dorset Naturalist and Taxidermist, Jonathan McGowan

Dorset Naturalist and Taxidermist, Jonathan McGowan

Taxidermy is a skilful traditional craft. It dates not just from the days before the camera and guide book were invented, but is still a highly sought-after profession even today. These skills are needed by naturalists, museum curators, teachers, photographers and interior designers to name but a few. Whilst taxidermy may sometimes be associated with ‘arty’ types, many traditional taxidermists still continue the craft in the most old fashioned of ways.

The art is all about removing the skins of animals, preserving them and recreating a life-like model and mounting it in a natural-looking setting. Taxidermy need not be just about hunting trophies – it is also about safeguarding the memories of loved family pets, or the recycling of dead animals that litter our roadsides from time to time and indeed much vital information can be gained from collecting road kill and passing it on to relevant conservation authorities.

A mounted wild polecat.

A mounted wild polecat.

Jonathan McGowan’s illustrated  talk touches on the history of the craft from the past to the present day, with insights into how it is carried out, the ups and downs (including the perks and horrors) of the trade, and strange oddities of nature.

The lecture takes place at Dorset County Museum at 7.30 on Wednesday 29 May and doors are open from 7pm.  The event is free but a donation of £3 is encouraged to cover costs.

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

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