Four museums have come together to preserve and exhibit rarely seen objects relating to novelist Thomas Hardy.
The Dorset Museum, the Poole Museum, the Salisbury Museum and the Wiltshire Museum want to exhibit the largest collection of Hardy objects ever exhibited at the same time.
Curator Harriet Still described it as a “fascinating treasure”.
Among the items on display are a kettle that once belonged to Hardy’s grandmother and a gravestone sketch the author created for her dog.
The museums, which form the Wessex Museums partnership, aim to fund crowdfunding of £ 5,000 for the exhibition to walk through the attractions in the summer.
Ms. Still, one of Hardy’s leading experts, said: “Hardy found his inspiration in the landscapes and people of Wessex, but he was also passionate about issues such as women’s equality, animal welfare and injustice. of the English class system.
“As part of the project, I was tasked with exploring the museum’s shops and finding objects that gave an insight into Hardy’s complex personality. It was a magical journey of discovery and it will be wonderful to share this fascinating treasure with our visitors.”
Julian Fellowes, president of the Thomas Hardy Society, said many of the items “have remained invisible in museum shops for years.”
Lord Fellowes added: “These personal items will help people get to know Hardy as a man, not just as a writer.
“His grandmother’s kettle, for example, evokes the image of a boy sitting by the fire, listening to the tales of the wise old woman; while the tombstone that Hardy drew in old age for his beloved dog, Wessex, tells his deep love for animals.. “
The money raised will go to finance the “specialist work” needed to set up the “ambitious exhibition,” the museums said.
Hardy’s works include Jude the Obscure, Tess of the D’Urbervilles and Far From the Madding Crowd.
One of England’s most acclaimed novelists and poets, he was born in Dorset and lived in the county for much of his life. He died in 1928, at the age of 87.
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