This listing has ended.

Posts to:
Posts to:

Details about  FLORENCE Mistress of Max Gate by PETER TAIT (Florence Hardy)

See original listing
FLORENCE Mistress of Max Gate by PETER TAIT (Florence Hardy)
Item Ended
Item condition:
18 Jan, 2012 12:03:58 GMT
Free Standard Delivery | See details
Item location:
Sherborne, Dorset, United Kingdom


eBay item number:
Seller assumes all responsibility for this listing.

Item specifics

New: A new, unread, unused book in perfect condition with no missing or damaged pages. See the seller's ... Read moreabout the condition
Author: Peter Tait
Format: Hardback Subject: General Fiction
Language: English Subject 2: General & Literary Fiction
Special Attributes: 1st Edition Publication Year: 07/11/2011
ISBN: 9781908274083

Detailed item information

Key Features
Author(s)Peter Tait
PublisherThe Sundial Press
Date of Publication07/11/2011
GenreGeneral & Literary Fiction

Publication Data
Place of PublicationSherborne
Country of PublicationUnited Kingdom
ImprintThe Sundial Press

Weight14 g
Width148 mm
Height210 mm
Spine19 mm

Copyright in bibliographic data and cover images is held by Nielsen Book Services Limited or by the publishers or by their respective licensors: all rights reserved.

FLORENCE Mistress of Max Gate


Jacketed hardback   ISBN-13: 978-1-908274-08-3   Price: £16.50   Book Dimensions: 201 x 148 mm     Publication date: 07 November 2011

'Just published, this biographical novel is a veritable page-turner!'

From the moment she first met Thomas Hardy in 1905, having written him an admiring letter, Florence Dugdale seemed destined for controversy. Her presence at Max Gate, both before and after the death of his first wife Emma, and her clandestine courtship with a man nearly forty years her senior sparked suspicion among the locals and scorn from the Gifford family. She had wanted to be a writer herself, but was drawn into Hardy's life as his `secretary' and companion, and within a year of their own marriage was humiliated by his publication of poems commemorating the late Emma and his painful relationship with her.

Yet in the posthumous biography of her husband that bore her name she would tell the `truth' and at last achieve the acclaim she sought - or so she had imagined, until that fiction too began to unravel. After fourteen years of marriage, and despite her own gifts and her life thereafter, her fate was to be remembered by her obituary tag in a national newspaper - `helpmate to genius'. Her love life stunted, her literary ambitions thwarted, disowned by the Stoker family and satirized by Somerset Maugham - Florence's lot was an unenviable one. Why did she put up with it all?

In this biographical novel, a compelling recreation of Florence's life, Peter Tait tells of a letter, one that Hardy had written to her on the eve of their wedding, which she kept until her death, when, under instructions, it was destroyed ... `And with it died part of the secret, the secret that helped explain Florence. For, as Thomas found out to his cost, there was more to Florence than was evident from their first meeting. And so began their trail of deceptions, first of Emma, then of their friends and, finally, of us all.'

The author writes in a preamble to the novel:

"Poor Florence. When she died the best she could do by way of an epitaph was that of 'helpmate of genius'. Her life had always been measured in relationship to that of her famous husband for whom, as she lamented, she was neither muse nor (as she complained to Siegfried Sassoon), the first-called. The only man she truly loved, so we are told, died when she was only thirty two. Throughout her friendship, courtship and marriage with Thomas, she was subjected to the taunts and animosity of the Gifford family and their coterie of servants, and the townsfolk of Dorchester suspicious of the nature of her relationship with their favoured son. When they eventually married, within the year she felt betrayed by her husband's public declaration of affection for his late wife. Dull, gloomy, dreary, neurotic, these were the epithets used to describe her. Why did she endure it? And continue to endure it."

Peter Tait was born in New Zealand and gained his Masters degree in History at Massey University. After a career teaching at junior and senior schools in both New Zealand and England, he finally moved to England in 1998 to take up the position of Headmaster of Sherborne Preparatory School. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a long-time devotee of the writings of Thomas Hardy. He will give a talk on the book at the Thomas Hardy Conference & Festival in Dorchester (August 2012).

The Sundial Press | Sundial House | Sherborne | Dorset | DT9 4BS | UK

Questions and answers about this item

No questions or answers have been posted about this item.


Submit bid

Time left:
Current bid:
(Approximately ##1##)
Import charges:
Your maximum bid:
Your maximum bid:
Please read the full listing. By clicking Confirm bid you commit to buy this item from the seller if you are the winning bidder. You will enter a binding contract.
By clicking Confirm bid, you are committing to buy this item from the seller if you are the winning bidder and have read and agree to the Global Shipping Programme terms and conditions - opens in a new window or tab. Import charges previously quoted are subject to change if you increase you maximum bid amount.
Resume bidding, if the page does not update immediately.
Submit bid
Review and confirm your bid
Bid confirmation
Free P&P
See item description
(Approximately ##1##)
(Enter ##1## or more)
(Enter more than ##1##)
Your maximum bid:
Increase maximum bid
Submit bid
Confirm bid
Increase maximum bid
Change bid
, you've been outbid. Don't let it get away - bid again.
, you're the highest bidder on this item. Hope you win it.
, you're the first bidder. Hope you win.
, you're currently the high bidder, but you're close to getting outbid.
, this auction is almost over and you're currently the high bidder.
, you're the high bidder, but the reserve price hasn't been met.
Please enter your bid again.
Please enter a valid number as the bid price.
Enter an amount that is equal or greater than the minimum bid required. This can be found under the bid entry box.
Maximum bids can't be lowered once they're submitted.
This seller requires the buyer to have a PayPal account to purchase this item. Get a PayPal account here .
Your bid is greater than or equal to the Buy it now price. We recommend you purchase this item via Buy it now. If you still wish to bid, you may do so below.
Time left:
Current bid:
(approximately ##1##)
Your maximum bid:
(approximately ##1##)
Increase your maximum bid:
By clicking 1 Click Bid, you are agreeing to buy this item from the seller if you're the winning bidder. Learn moreabout 1-click bid - opens in a new window or tab
(approximately ##1##)
Winning bid:
Starting bid:
Congratulations The auction has ended and you're the winner.
The auction has ended, but the reserve price was not met.
Sorry, the auction has ended and you were outbid.
Good news, you're the highest bidder.
Sorry, you've been outbid.
You're the highest bidder, but the reserve price has not been met.
Please enter a higher amount than the current bid.
Maximum bids cannot be lowered once submitted.
Please enter a valid number.