Of Victorian Interest

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Essay Prize: The Thomas Hardy Society Patrick Tolfree Student Essay, “Hardy and Morality” (9/30/2016)

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This year's annual essay competition is open to students of any academic level over the age of 18 and living anywhere in the world. This competition was inaugurated in honour of the late Patrick Tolfree, author of monographs, avid Hardyan and a tireless promoter of Hardy's life and works within local schools. The essay topic is broad and will change each year, but must be related to Hardy and his works.

The theme for this year's competition is 'Hardy and Morality'. Essays of not more than 4000 words in length are warmly invited. They may focus on, but are by no means limited to, the following -

  • How morality is perceived in Hardy's works in different cultures and countries
  • How Hardy challenged the prevailing Victorian moral ethos
  • How the moral principles portrayed in Hardy's works have been adopted and adapted by later generations of writers
  • Morality v's the Law
  • Innocence and transgression
  • Moral manliness and femininity
  • Purity, virtue, sensibility and judgement
  • Moral turpitude and wickedness
Any aspect of Hardy's prolific output may be focussed upon, whether it be novels, short stories, poems or essays. The closing date for submissions is September 30 2016. The winner will receive a prize of £250 along with one year's free membership of the Thomas Hardy Society, and will have the pleasure of seeing their essay published in the Hardy Society Journal.
Please send submissions and any enquiries to the THS Student Representative at malady22@ntlworld.com

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