Not far from Dorsetshire’s county town of Dorchester – in the hamlet of Higher
Bockhampton – stands a thatched cottage situated on the edge of a wild heath.
Here, in the year 1840, Thomas Hardy was born.
During his childhood and youth, Hardy immersed himself in the beautiful and
evocative countryside which surrounded him. He learned the violin, his family
being musicians and members of the nearby Stinsford church ‘quire’. Even as a
youth there were indications that Hardy had a gift for writing.
home and environment which Hardy enjoyed for much of the first thirty-four
years of his life, including its folk and folklore, provided a backdrop and inspiration
for many of the famous novels for which he is known today.
Doyen of Dorset historians, Andrew Norman, looks in detail at the home and
environment which inspired Hardy to become the towering giant of English letters.
Along the way he uncovers fascinating new information about the young
Thomas Hardy, including the revelation of the identity of at least one of Hardy’s
Andrew Norman was born in Newbury, Berkshire, UK in 1943. Having been educated at Thornhill
High School, Gwelo, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Midsomer Norton Grammar
School, and St Edmund Hall, Oxford, he qualified in medicine at the Radcliffe Infirmary. He has
two children Bridget and Thomas, by his first wife.
From 1972-83, Andrew worked as a general practitioner in Poole, Dorset, before a spinal
injury cut short his medical career. He is now an established writer whose published works
include biographies of Charles Darwin, Winston Churchill, Thomas Hardy, T.E. Lawrence,
Adolf Hitler, Agatha Christie, Enid Blyton, Beatrix Potter, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and
Robert Mugabe. Andrew married his second wife Rachel, in 2005.
Imprint: Halsgrove. ISBN 978 0 85704 301 6, hardback, 210x148mm, 144 pages. Published 2017.