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Thomas Hardy, Gustav Holst, the Heath, an Eclipse and Music
by David J. Tolley


      In this new feature in Signature: Women in Music, David J. Tolley takes readers on a literary, musical and artistic tour that features novelist Thomas Hardy, composer Gustav Holst and musicologist-critic Marion M. Scott.
    We journey first to the evocative landscape of Hardy’s “Egdon Heath,” to Holst’s musical rendering of the heath in his tone poem of the same name. Tying composer and novelist together is Marion Scott who wrote about her experience viewing  an eclipse on a heath in Hardy’s Dorset. Her words inspired David Tolley’s painting that features in the article.
    “Egdon Heath” was a fictional composite drawn from other heaths that Hardy knew. He opened his novel The Return of the Native with a description of the heath that begins...
    A Saturday afternoon in November was fast approaching the time of twilight, and the vast     track of unenclosed wild known as Egdon Heath embrowned itself moment by moment.     Overhead the hollow stretch of whitish cloud shutting out the sky was as a tent which had     the whole heath for its floor.


 

Dora Pejacevic,
Croatian Composer
by Pamela Blevins

"Every talent, every genius, requires equal consideration, and sex cannot be allowed to come into the matter."

Dame Ethel Smyth
and "The Boatswain's Mate"
an interview by Marion M. Scott, 1922

 

"The 'Old Vic' audiences have been wildly enthusiastic over Dame Ethel Smyth's work."

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