Thomas Hardy letter bought for £1,800

Thomas Hardy letter bought for £1,800

Published by George Sharpe at 12:01am 6th September 2019.

A letter penned by Dorset author Thomas Hardy has been bought for £1,800 through private sale.

Hardy wrote the letter in June 1922, 6 years before his death. It's addressed to a Cambridge professor of "Physic" - believed to be an old term for studies of medicine. 

The letter was obtained through private sale and is available to view at the Dorset History Centre. 

The recipient of the letter, Sir Clifford Allbutt first met Hardy in 1893 but given how many years had past, Hardy refers to them both as "remnants of the Victorians of that day". 

Hardy wrote about his "strange experience" of visiting a mental institution - something which he had a fascination of. 

It's one of thousands of letter Hardy wrote, but the Thomas Hardy Society says it gives an important insight into the writer.

Tony Fincham, Hon Chairman of the Thomas Hardy Society said:

"The THS are very pleased to have been able to contribute to the acquisition of this important letter from Thomas Hardy to a physician, whom he most admired - and for the letter now to be kept safe and available for scholarly inspection at the Dorset History Centre."

Carola Campbell, Chairman of the Dorset Archives Trust said:

"The Dorset Archives Trust is delighted to have led the acquisition of this historic letter with the generous support of THS. 

Thomas Hardy's novels and poems reflect the social history of Dorset during his life time and are loved & admired across the globe.  This correspondence provides another little window into the personal life of this iconic author".

The letter is available to view at the Dorset History Centre in Dorchester.