24 May 2015

Thomas Hardy at Max Gate, Dorchester, Dorset

Thomas Hardy designed Max Gate on the outskirts of Dorchester, and lived there with Emma his first wife and later Florence his second wife from 1885 until 1928, the year of his death. During this period he wrote The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886), Tess of the d'Urbervilles (1892), and his last novel, the highly controversial Jude the Obscure (1895), after which Hardy restricted himself to just writing poetry.

Hardy had a great interest in sundials.

The dining room, which contains some of the original furniture. Two of Hardy's guests were W. B. Yeats and T. E. Lawrence.

The drawing room opposite.

On the first floor, the flushing toilet.

Emma occupied two attic rooms following extensive alterations in 1894.

The master bedroom, first used by Hardy and Emma and later by Florence.

Hardy first used this room as a study. Here he wrote The Woodlanders and corrected proofs of The Mayor of Casterbridge. Towards the end of his life he used this room as a bedroom, and this is the room in which he died.

The bathroom.
A bust of T. E. Lawrence lurks in the drawing room on the ground floor.

Outside, the Druid Stone which was found three feet below ground.

Hardy was a huge lover of animals, and this pet cemetery reminds me of Edith Wharton's in Lenox, Massachusetts.
The shepherd's hut in the grounds.
At the top of High Street in Dorchester is a statue of Thomas Hardy sculpted by Eric Henri Kennington (1888– 1960), the same man who sculpted T. E. Lawrence's bust.

My other Thomas Hardy posts:

Thomas Hardy in Stinsford, Dorset
Thomas Hardy's birthplace, Higher Bockhampton, Dorset
Thomas Hardy in South Street, Dorchester, Dorset

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