Love and loss – Hardy’s Emma poems

SCOTTISH academic Phillip Mallett is coming to Kingston Maurward College near Dorchester on Thursday 25th July to give a talk called “Love, praise, indifference, blame: Hardy’s Emma Poems.”

The talk will look at some of the 120 or so poems which Hardy wrote about his first wife, Emma, after her death in 1912. It begins by asking who these poems are for, and goes on to explore themes of speech and silence, memory and loss, and love and blame.

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 the Hardy Society, and was formerly editor of the Thomas 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.

The talk is part of the Hardy Country Lecture Series, named after Dorset’s famous novelist and poet, and arranged by several independent not-for-profit organisations who are working together to promote the life and work of Thomas Hardy and the county of Dorset. These include Dorset County Museum, the University of Exeter, National Trust, Thomas Hardy Society and Kingston Maurward College.

Pictured:  Emma Hardy © DCM 2016; Philip Mallett, photograph by Mark North © 2017