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Wiltshire Community History

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Question Date :

Monday 4th July 2011 10:03

Did Thomas Hardy use the city of Salisbury in any of his novels.

Yes, Melchester is certainly Salisbury. In Jude the Obscure Hardy writes of the cathedral being 'the most graceful architectural pile in England' and he had a great love of Salisbury from his first visit, when he was aged 19. His sisters, Mary and Kate, both trained to be teachers at the training college there and in Jude Sue Bridehead trains at 'an ancient edifice of the fifteenth century, once a palace, now a training-school, with mullioned and transomed windows, and a courtyard in front shut in from the road by a wall.' Hardy's architectural training is evident here and you can recognise the building when you visit the Salisbury and South Wilts Museum in The Close, for that is who now occupies the old training college. Jude himself works as a stone mason on cathedral repairs and there is a good description of the fun fair that took place in the Market Place.

Hardy’s Wessex by Desmond Hawkins. MacMillan, 1983, 0 333 34115 5



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