Southwest legal firm sponsors Hardy exhibition
Battens has a 300-year-old history in the West Country, with six offices in Somerset and Dorset. It was founded at Church House in Church Street, Yeovil, in the 18th century, before moving to its current headquarters in Princes Street.
The branch would have been open in 1876 when Thomas Hardy and his wife Emma lived in lodgings at 7 St Peter Street, Yeovil. The couple stayed there from March to July, during which time Hardy corrected the final proofs of his novel, The Hand of Ethelberta. (Hardy would have looked then much as he did in the photo above!)
Battens’ sponsorship is helping Wessex Museums present the largest collection of Hardy objects ever displayed at one time. Harriet Still, the exhibition curator, said:
“We’re not only deeply appreciative of Battens sponsorship, but delighted that our sponsor is so rooted in Wessex where Hardy found his inspiration.”
Managing Director of Battens Solicitors, Ceri Stephens, said:
“Battens has a long history of supporting the Arts both as a company and also through its charitable trust. We are delighted to be able to sponsor this event which celebrates both Hardy’s talent as a writer and the wonderful Wessex countryside and community in which he lived and worked.”
The exhibition opens across our partner museums on 28th May. Photo courtesy of Dorset Museum.