Find out how Hardy felt about the social tensions and inequalities of the time, and how he campaigned against animal cruelty. Then take a walk around Dorchester, the market town that inspired one of Hardy’s most popular novels, The Mayor of Casterbridge.
On loan from: The Victoria and Albert Museum, London
The Village Choir is an oil painting by Thomas Webster, 1847. Webster was known for paintings that depicted incidents from everyday life in Britain, in a genial and humorous way.
This painting illustrates the various ‘characters’ who might be found in a local choir. It captures a snapshot of rural life – similar to the community that Hardy grew up in. It also evokes the kind of characters found in Hardy’s novels such as The Mayor of Casterbridge and Under the Greenwood Tree.
Our star loans were made possible by support from the Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund.
As well as standing up for the rights of working people, Hardy campaigned against cruelty to all living things, becoming an animal rights champion.
From his first nature sketch, to his controversial article defending the Dorsetshire Labourer, visitors will come to understand Hardy’s humanity and compassion.
For details of opening times, admission prices, facilities, directions, etc, please visit Dorset Museum’s website.
Males great bustards perform spectacular courtship displays, gathering at a ‘lek’ or small display ground to try to impress the females.
The great bustard has a dignified slow walk but tends to run when disturbed, rather than fly.
The hen-bird on display at The Salisbury Museum was one of the last great bustards to be eaten in the town!