For those of you who follow my instagram account you will know that fairly recently my school had a trip for English students to visit the houses where Thomas Hardy grew up, lived, died and most importantly wrote! It was an incredible experience that is really local to where I am in England. I’m currently studying Tess of the d’Urbervilles for my English Literature AS Level (for those of you who are unfamiliar with the English educational system that basically means I’m two years away from finishing school and I’m taking English as one of my final subjects) and I’m really enjoying it. Not only is it really pleasant to read despite the old fashioned language but it has so many deeper meanings that only really become apparent when you are fortunate enough to stop and delve deeper into analysing the story.
I think going to see where Hardy grew up especially and hearing his background and also who and what inspired him to write about Tess really changed my view of Tess and Hardy and I think for any Hardy lovers it really is a great day out. To walk along the roads in which Hardy wrote Tess walking and gaze across the vale where she lived really put the lifestyle into perspective. Although I have lived in the countryside all my life and near the particular area in which Tess of the d’Urbervilles is set I still found myself in awe of the utter magnificence of the landscape and nature. It simply can’t be put into words (which I realise is a bit annoying considering I’m trying to put the experience into words!)
I’ve heard that it is either Hardy or Austen that make one fall in love with literature. I don’t think this necessarily rings true, considering Tess of the d’Urbervilles and a few poems are the only Hardy I’ve read and I’ve been smitten over literature since Where the wild things are. However, I can see where this idea derives from. I have a deep found respect for Hardy and although I know his works aren’t for everyone and seeing as I have yet to explore his writing fully I can’t totally judge but I find myself finding pleasure in not only his story but in every word and description and every full stop I encounter along my journey.
Below I will share some pictures of my trip for those of you who can’t see and experience this for yourselves.
Below is a picture of the house where Hardy was born and grew up and started to write