Hardy and Me: A Personal Account

In honour of tomorrow’s Far From the Madding Crowd event for the Being Human Festival 2016, unit member Chris Lyon has written a post for us about his experiences with reading Thomas Hardy.

We’re looking forward to our free screening and discussion of Far From the Madding Crowd tomorrow, and hope to see you there!

Hardy and Me. A Personal Account.

the_tithe_barn_abbotsbury_near_weymouth

The Tithe Barn, Abbotsbury near Wymouth, by Walter Tyndale

 

Like most people passing through the English state education system, my first encounter with Thomas Hardy was an obligatory study of a Hardy novel as part of the GCE (now GCSE) National Curriculum for English Literature. No explanation was given as to why Hardy was and still is deemed essential reading. He just appeared in the classroom one day. In my case that day happened to be in 1974, exactly 100 years after its first publication. The novel in question was Far from the Madding Crowd.

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