Hardy Country

I managed to get out for a walk yesterday around one of my regular haunts, King Down and Badbury Rings and I captured this scene as I walked. There was a brief show of sunlight and some amazingly beautiful clouds which provided a great backdrop to the cow parsley lined path.

I called the picture ‘Hardy’ because this is Thomas Hardy country and is a scene that I felt could have come straight out of one of his novels. In his day, this would have been a ‘major highway’ and as I walked, I could just imagine a drunken Joseph Poorgrass trundling down this rough track with his horse and cart, or maybe a young Tess on her way to church.

Anyone who has read Thomas Hardy will know that his books are wonderfully descriptive of the countryside and country life, but for the most part are extremely sad or even tragic with fate often playing a hand in the ruining of lives. As in this picture, there are always heavy storm clouds either overhead or not very far away and usually the storm comes! The gloominess is intermingled though with stoical characters who still manage to see some brightness in their lives despite the inevitable tragedies.

This of course was in many ways a true reflection of life in Dorset for most people, which could be described at best as ‘hard’. Poverty, poor housing, and little prospect of change, combined with hard and dirty labouring work meant that lives were often dire and short. At one time, the whole of Dorset was owned by less that a dozen people with most living in rented squalor.

It is Hardy’s air of heavy gloominess combined with a little brightness created by the stoical acceptance of the characters’ situations by ‘making the best of it’ that I have tried to capture in this image.

If this is a bit too ‘dark’, then have a look at the previous post for a bit more brightness – it’s here πŸ™‚ !

Thanks for stopping by and reading my ramblings, and I hope you enjoy exploring with me.

Until next time,
Your friend
The Dorset Rambler

If you would like to contact me,Β my email address is terry.yarrow@gmail.com – comments and feedback are always welcomed.

All words and pictures in this blog are the copyright of The Dorset Rambler and may not be reproduced without permission.


  1. I love Hardy’s books and have spent time in Dorset because of his descriptions. You live in a wonderful part of the world.

    I like your photo – very moody and atmospheric. Very Hardy.

  2. I don’t get chance to comment very often as my blog has lapsed, but I have been following your rambles around Dorset -and particularly love Hardy’s Dorset – since 2016. This was just before I moved to Dorset. My father had been in the Dorset Regiment and therefore all our holidays took place here and it is special to me. Thank you so much for sharing all your interesting knowledge in such delicious words and for your beautiful photos. So inspiring – I have learned a lot.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s