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Thomas Hardy’s Study

Thomas Hardy in his Study
Thomas Hardy in his Study at Max Gate

This room displays the contents of the last study used by Thomas Hardy – arguably Dorset’s most famous writer – his home at Max Gate, on the outskirts of Dorchester.

During his time at Max Gate, he re-located the study twice, and we are fortunate to have had its contents bequeathed to the Museum for display. There is much to see here, from the shelves of books (literary inputs for an enquiring mind!), depictions of contemporary authors, the satchel holding tools for his early employment as an architect’s assistant (a fact which led to meeting the young lady -Emma Lavinia Gifford who became his first wife), musical instruments, and, in a pen tray on his desk, two ivory-stemmed pens used to write the manuscripts of “Jude the Obscure” and “Tess of the D’Urbervilles”.

Hardy, while famous for his novels, also wrote a great many poems (he apparently considered himself to be principally a poet), and a facsimile of one of his early poems - “When I Set Out For Lyonesse” (concerning the journey causing him to meet Emma) is displayed in the gallery.

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This room displays the contents of the last study used by Thomas Hardy, his home at Max Gate
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