Thomas Hardy was one of many authors who found inspiration in Dorset’s patchwork hills, chocolate box villages, and absence of traffic. Many of his books, short tales, and poems were set in his semi-fictional Wessex, which he based on the area around Dorchester. Max Gate, the red brick residence constructed by Hardy himself, is only a short drive from his birthplace at Higher Brockhampton. In 1870, English author and poet Thomas Hardy met his first wife, Emma, while vacationing in the wildflower meadows of Valency Valley in North Cornwall. Hardy’s works were influenced by both the location and Emma herself. Lastly, you may pay your respects in St. Michael’s Church, where he is entombed.

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