Book Signing

An Afternoon with Elizabeth Lowry

25 August 2022, 3:00pm - 4:30pm

We are so pleased to be welcoming Elizabeth Lowry to the Museum on August 25th.

Spend the afternoon with Elizabeth for a book signing and reading of her highly praised novel ‘The Chosen’.

Tender, intimate and atmospheric, this haunting novel transports the reader into the austere house and shocked heart one of England’s greatest writers

One morning in November 1912 Thomas Hardy’s wife Emma dies. The two were married for over forty years, though increasingly estranged for the last twenty. Though they lived in the same house, Max Gate in Dorset, by the time of Emma’s death they were no longer speaking, and rarely even met. Emma spent her days and nights upstairs in the attic, while Tom wrote and slept on the floor below.

For the last four years, Tom has been in a tentative relationship with a much younger woman, Florence Dugdale. Like his family – who resented and avoided Emma – Florence assumes that he’ll be glad to be free. He isn’t. He is utterly shattered by the loss of his wife.

While Tom is still overwhelmed with grief he finds both a memoir and a cache of secret diaries by Emma, in which she railed about his failings as a husband, accusing him of having been her gaoler. Why did Thomas Hardy really choose Emma as his wife? What happened to them? What is life like for a woman whose own life and ambitions are buried beneath the artistic career of her husband, as he soars to literary greatness? And why did they never have children?

This is a novel about grief and regret, about Thomas Hardy at seventy-two, about the mystery at the heart of his long marriage to Emma Gifford, and the cost – to him, to those around him – of a writer’s life. Set in the eleven days following Emma’s death, it’s a love story and a ghost story – and the story of how some of the greatest love poems ever written in English, the ‘Poems of 1912-13’, came to exist.

 

  • Opening hours:

    Daily: 9.00am - 4.30pm
    Sunday: 10.00am - 4.00pm
    Bank Holidays: 10.00am - 4.00pm

  • Dorset Museum

    High West Street
    Dorchester DT1 1XA

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Elizabeth Lowry was born in Washington DC and educated in South Africa and England. She lives and works in Oxford. Her first novel, The Bellini Madonna, was published in 2008 to great acclaim; her second, Dark Water, was longlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction. She is a frequent contributor to the London Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement, The Guardian and The Wall Street Journal.

Workshop

17 September 2022, 10:00am - 4:00pm

Robin Mackenzie Wood Engraving Workshop

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Storytelling

28 October 2022, 10:30am - 11:30am

Fireside tales from Wessex: Story-telling with Tim Laycock

Participatory folk stories and songs for all the family.

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Special Exhibition

28 May – 30 October 2022

Take a fresh look at the Victorian novelist and poet, Thomas Hardy, in the stunning Wessex landscapes that shaped his view of the world. His story will be retold in exciting new ways by our museum collections, from period costumes to personal letters, art to archaeology.

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Community Exhibition

20 June – 16 September 2022

Plastics are not Fantastic

In this exhibition students from Weymouth College express their thoughts about the environment through posters, pledges and artwork.

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Tours

16 August 2022, 10:00am - 11:00am

Dorset Museum Highlights Tour

Explore 250 million years of Dorset’s history in this volunteer-led highlights tour of Dorset Museum. Discover Roman mosaics, fossils from the Jurassic Coast, Thomas Hardy manuscripts and the sculptures of Elisabeth Frink – and plenty more along the way.

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Family Activity

16 August 2022, 10:00am - 12noon

Summer ArtyFacts

Inspired by Dorset Museum’s collection and Special Exhibitions, our volunteer-led craft activities are fun and creative. 

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Family Activity

18 August 2022, 10:00am - 12noon

Summer ArtyFacts

Inspired by Dorset Museum’s collection and Special Exhibitions, our volunteer-led craft activities are fun and creative. 

Find out more

Tours

23 August 2022, 10:00am - 11:00am

Dorset Museum Highlights Tour

Explore 250 million years of Dorset’s history in this volunteer-led highlights tour of Dorset Museum. Discover Roman mosaics, fossils from the Jurassic Coast, Thomas Hardy manuscripts and the sculptures of Elisabeth Frink – and plenty more along the way.

Find out more

Family Activity

23 August 2022, 10:00am - 12noon

Summer ArtyFacts

Victorian cameo silhouettes and gilt frames. Create your own Victorian silhouette and Victorian-style frame, inspired by the Thomas Hardy exhibition, the Hardy gallery and portraits in the Dorset Artists gallery.

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