The 21st International Thomas Hardy Conference & Festival

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Date & time

From July 26, 2014 at 12:00 to August 2, 2014 at 18:00



Welcome to Dorchester – and welcome to the Thomas Hardy Society’s 21st International Conference and Festival: a coming-of-age for our Conference, forty-six years after the original Festival at Kingston Maurward, which lead to the foundation of the THS.

We hope that this Conference and Festival will prove to be as enjoyable, varied, excit- ing and stimulating as its predecessors: the programme contains some old favourites but plenty of new and different activities. Many of the lecturers are addressing the Conference for the first time: the Postgraduate and Call-for-Papers speakers are now amalgamated to produce the strongest academic programme the Society has ever offered with nearly 50 separate presentations. The Walks and Tours are reaching new boundaries. The entertainments focus on the centenary of the outbreak of The Great War, starting with the New Hardy Players performing Hardy’s own selection of Wessex Scenes from The Dynasts. On the final Saturday of the Conference, we will hear from Alan Johnson MP, then have an on-site introduction to the new Thomas Hardy Birthplace Centre at Thorncombe Wood – a project in which the THS has been heavily involved; and which represents a great step forward both in terms of interpretation and facilities available for visitors to The Hardys’ Cottage and Egdon Heath.

As always, the Conference and Festival draw together the disparate strands of Hardyan interest – from the acclaimed academic to the lay enthusiast to express through lecture, seminar, music, drama, film, walk and outing – and most especially Poetry – the living vibrant world of Thomas Hardy’s Wessex. It is your Conference – Enjoy!

An eclectic mix of lectures by leading Hardy schol-ars, poetry readings, seminars, music, entertain-ments, tours and guided walks, exhibitions and much more.

Invited speakers include:

  • The Rt Hon Alan Johnson MP,
  • Sir Christopher Ricks,
  • Mary Rimmer, (Canada)
  • Marion Thain (USA)
  • Helen Gibson,
  • Tony Fincham,
  • John Paul Riquelme (USA)
  • Alan Chedzoy
  • John Wedgewood Clark
  • Tom McAlindon

Download Programme

Further Info


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