This blog entry is specially for my BookcluB buddies with whom I recently shared “Far from the Madding Crowd” in one of our meetings. No visit to Dorset would be complete without a visit to some famous places associated with Thomas Hardy. Our first stop was Dorchester, the main county town of Dorset. Dorchester was an important town in Roman times (when it was called Durnovaria) and also has significant heritage associated with the Saxons, as a Roundhead stronghold during the English Civil War and still later was the scene of the trial of the unionists, the Tolpuddle Martyrs.
Dorchester and the surrounding towns and villages became the settings for many Thomas Hardy novels, including “The Mayor of Casterbridge.”
In nearby Upper Bockhampton we visited the birthplace of Thomas Hardy. The cottage built by Thomas Hardy’s grandfather is in an idyllic country laneway. Took a ramble from the Visitor Centre through the Puddletown Forest to the cottage.
The cottage and its gardens are beautifully preserved by the National Trust. It was wonderful to meet a young teenage historian who was keen to share lots of stories about three generations of the Hardy family who lived here – Thomas Hardy, the architect and later successful author was the third Thomas Hardy to live there and it seems he wrote poetry and stories here from his boyhood.
A fascinating insight into Thomas Hardy’s background which I really enjoyed.