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Thomas Hardy and His Correspondents

15 June 2022 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm


Professor Angelique Richardson and Dr Cath Sawyer discuss their work with the University of Exeter’s Hardy’s Correspondents project.
This presentation will introduce the University of Exeter’s Hardy’s Correspondents project, a digital humanities collaboration with Dorset Museum, and look at ways in which the letters Hardy wrote, received, and respondd to, shed light on his many-sidedness, his relationships, including with other writers such as A.E. Housman, Siegfried Sassoon and Virginia Woolf, and his political activism on behalf of the oppressed, notably his support for women’s suffrage, world peace, and animal rights.

Hardy received thousands of letters from all round the world, including from Australia, Chile, China, India, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Nigeria, the Philippines, and Syria, from actors (e.g. Henry Irving, Ellen Terry, Sybil Thorndike, Irene Vanbrugh), artists (von Herkomer, George Du Maurier, Helen Paterson), musicians (e.g. Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Holst), fans and other members of the public. The presentation will also illuminate the social practice of letter writing and consider how the form best served Hardy, even after he acquired a telephone.

This talk will be given by Professor Angelique Richardson in discussion with Dr Steph Alder.

Angelique Richardson is Professor of English and a historian of science at the University of Exeter where she leads the Hardy’s Correspondents Project. Her books include Love and Eugenics in the Late 19th Century, After Darwin: Animals, Emotions and the Mind and Women Who Did: Stories by Men and Women, 1890-1914.
Dr Steph Alder recently completed her PhD on Literary Censorship and the Victorian Novel and is editor of the Thomas Hardy Journal and the Hardy Society Journal. She is an Early Career Research Fellow with the Institute of English Studies and a Visiting Fellow with Reading University’s Centre for Book Cultures and Publishing.

This event is part of Sturminster Newton Literary Festival.


15 June 2022
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Categories:


Sturminster Newton Literary Festival
View Organiser Website


The Exchange, Sturminster Newton
Sturminster Newton, DT10 1FH + Google Map


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