Much of a muchness

Things that make you go 'hmm'…

Far from the madding crowd…


This book is made with a rather pretty paper with very dramatic colours – and lots of sparkle (not so keen on that!) It looks quite ‘retro’ and I’m sure the added ‘bling’ is going to appeal to someone…

I went for a walk with a group of friends yesterday. There were about 10 of us and we walked about 4-5 miles, I guess through Thorncombe Woods and on the way we passed Thomas Hardy’s cottage at Bockhampton. I have lived in Dorset for about 15 years and I am constantly surprised how many of our local landmarks I have yet to see – this being one of them! Unfortunately it was closed and I only managed to take this shot of it by climbing into a bush and leaning over a fence


This a photograph of it taken in the summer.



Thomas Hardy was born in Higher Bockhampton and became one of England’s most famous authors. His most celebrated books such as ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’, ‘Far From the Madding Crowd’ and the ‘Mayor of Casterbridge’ are all set in an imagined Wessex which is based around Dorset and all the towns he mentioned in his books are real places that he renamed. Dorchester became Casterbridge, Weymouth became Budmouth and Bridport became Port Bredy, for instance. The Thomas Hardy Society has a conference in Dorchester every year and fans of Thomas Hardy’s work all flock to the town to see where Thomas Hardy lived and worked and to visit the museum which has a recreation of his study and a large archive of his works and belongings. There are lectures, seminars, poetry readings and excursions including visits to Hardy’s Cottage and to Max Gate, the house he designed and built for himself, just outside Dorchester. They can also visit his grave at Stinsford where his heart is buried with his first wife, Emma – his ashes are in Westminster Abbey in London. You can read more about Thomas Hardy here.

‘Far from the Madding Crowd’ was made into a film in 1967 starring gorgeous Julie Christie, Terence Stamp, Alan Bates and Peter Finch. I always loved this film. I studied the novel for my GCE ‘O’ level and thought it was one time when a film had lived up to the original book. I had a serious crush on Terence Stamp at the time too although I did rather like Alan Bates as Gabriel Oak too. Dashing, handsome and mercurial versus strong, steady and reliable.

It was interesting watching the film again after I moved to Dorset and trying to spot where the film locations were – it was all filmed in Dorset. Here is the trailer for the film (please turn down the awful American voice over – they could at least have used an English accent – although perhaps not a broad Dorset one!)

And finally…..

If Thomas Hardy had used a computer to write his novels and poetry, I expect it would have looked like this one :-)

Vodpod videos no longer available. from posted with vodpod

15 responses to “Far from the madding crowd…

  1. pete February 21, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    Man, I’m American and that voiceover is terrible. ;) What exactly does a Dorset accent sound like?

    BTW, your photos are today’s featured post on my blog. Thanks for contributing and have a great day! :D

  2. Diane February 21, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    A Dorset accent sounds like…. think Sam Gamgee in Lord of the Rings or I have heard it described as the accent pirates have in movies!

    My photographs look better on your blog than they do on mine! Thanks so much – my first guest spot. Wooho!

  3. AmyH February 21, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    I love Thomas Hardy–is that a macabre thing to admit. Maybe it is, if I told you that my favorite (so far) is Jude the Obscure. The only other Hardy I’ve read is The Mayor of Castorbridge, which I also really, really liked. Jude was just my first taste. Though on my shelves I have Far from the Madding Crowd and the Return of the Native.

    And yes, I’m with Pete, I’m American and that voiceover, well, it’s almost comical. It makes the movie sound like a melodrama, which I’m sure it’s not!

  4. Diane February 21, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    My favourite is ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’ hotly followed by ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’ and ‘The Mayor of Casterbridge’.

    They are all rather depressing aren’t they? But then I guess life in those days wasn’t necessarily a bed of roses for ordinary folk!

    You are right! That’s exactly why the voiceover jars so much, it’s so out of context and makes the film sound like something it’s not :-)

  5. dianeca February 21, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    First I like the books, I like a bit of bling and the flowers are so cute!!

    And what a lovely english cottage with beautiful cottage garden…nice place to rest your eyes on a walk! Lucky you!

  6. clara February 21, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    the paper is so pretty, i like the efect on the notebook. And the inside paper is beautiful to.
    outside the paper is so funy and is like you said a quit “retro”.

  7. Teresa February 21, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    The great thing about the book is that it screams Spring!! The distracting thing about the book is that it screams Spring!! LOL! Seriously, I think it’s wonderful for the dreary end of winter, but I can imagine I’d be a little annoyed if I got sparkles on my hands every time I picked it up…that’s only because I’m constantly handling food, so it’s not a good combination. Otherwise, it’s a way cool book!

    What beautiful country Dorset is! I’d not read any Harding, but I will try one of his books (have always wanted to read “Tess” anyway). Now I’m curious about the “Far from the Madding Crowd” movie too from your comments. I’ve yet to see a movie I loved more than the book (if I have read the book). I couldn’t get the preview to load yet, so I’ve not heard the annoying American accent. ;)

    The Steampunk stuff is amazing! Our homeschool literary co-op is planning on making altered books, but this takes altered stuff to a whole new level.

  8. Diane February 21, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    DianeCA – I think the garden will look much better later in the year which is probably why it is all closed up now. It is an archetypal thatched country cottage though, very chocolate box-ey!

    Clara – it reminds me of the 60’s – very ‘Flower Power’ :-)
    I like the inside paper it’s an Indian khadi paper.

    Teresa – surprisingly, the sparkle isn’t like normal ‘glitter’ it doesn’t come off. It’s like that stuff you heat and it sets (if you know what I mean)

    Hardy’s books are very ‘dense’ but wonderful stories. I love them.

    If you like period dramas, you will love the film of ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’, it’s wonderful. Because it is a period film it hasn’t dated at all even though it was made……40 years ago. Eeek! Where has the time gone? 1967 can’t be 40 years ago!!

  9. strugglingwriter February 21, 2008 at 5:55 pm

    I’m doing some writing, so I don’t have a lot of time to watch the videos. Just stopping by to say hello. Hello!

    Thanks for the Torchwood thoughts you left on my blog. I responded to you there. I’m tempted to ask for more details about what happened, but I will refrain for now in the slight chance I someday watch those episodes.

  10. Diane February 21, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    Second video will be of interest to you – steampunk:-)

    Good luck with the writing – hope to read it soon….

  11. Teresa February 21, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    I’m really more of a comedy gal, myself, but if it’s a really well-done movie or a really well-written book, then I’d just grab a box of tissues and make my way through it. ;)

    Hm, isn’t ’67 actually 41 years ago now? LOL! My baby sister will be turning 40 this year, She can’t believe it either.

    Oh, if the sparkles don’t come off, then it’s definitely a cheery book for winter time!

  12. strugglingwriter February 21, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    Diane – that video was awesome. I have seen “Datamancer” and that laptop before, but not this video. I wish I had the time/skills to make stuff like that. I guess I’ll have to stick to making things with words. :)

  13. jafabrit February 22, 2008 at 2:58 am

    The book is lovely :) and I enjoyed reading your blog entry about your walk and Dorset. I could do with a walk in the English countryside, we may be snowed in tomorrow and I am missing my walks.

  14. laketrees February 22, 2008 at 6:23 am

    I always loved this film Diane….and Julie Christie is my all time favourite….I think I’ve seen ‘Dr Zhivago’ at least a dozen times!!..
    I thought Alan Bates was the one who deserved her in the end as she was terribly heartless when it came to poor Peter Finch…
    the book is absolutely gorgeous !!!..
    I love the bright colours and design…
    great shot of the house :)
    do you know I was looking at that wonderful calendar of Dorset and I remember going to Lyme Regis when I was on tour with the Company (in the early 80s)…I will have to look up my tour journals to see if I have a postcard from there…

  15. Diane February 22, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    Teresa – OK, OK, 41 years ago!I’m not revealing how old I was when I went to see this film….. :-)

    Paul – I’m looking forward to reading your Steam punk story :-)

    Jafabrit – Thank you! We’ve not had any snow so far this year and spring seems to be on its way – but it can all go horribly wrong again. I suspect the weather is just lulling us into a false sense of security….Hope you got your hair done and your knitting needles :-)

    Kim – I loved JC in this this film. And Alan Bates was the best choice. Sensible over glamorous. Works for me :-)
    Lyme Regis is lovely. Always reminds me of that fantastic scene in ‘The French Lieutenant’s Woman’ out on the Cobb…and the Undercliffs are gorgeous. Must pop over and take some photographs…..

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