Any tourists coming to England must pay a visit to Wessex.
It’s a gorgeous part of the country.
Full of rolling hills, picturesque villages and miles of stunning coastline.
There’s even the odd naked giant carved in the hillside for good measure.
The beauty of South Wessex
But try to buy a train ticket to Wessex and you’ll come unstuck.
Because it doesn’t exist.
Except in literature. Thanks to 19th century novelist Thomas Hardy.
Hardy resurrected the term Wessex in his earthy depictions of south-west England, where names like South Wessex stood in for Dorset and Salisbury became Melchester.
The term was originally used between the 6th and 10th centuries, when Wessex was an Anglo-Saxon kingdom in roughly the same area as adopted by Hardy.
Hardy first referred to “Wessex” in his breakthrough 1885 novel Far from the Madding Crowd.
He grew up and lived most of his life in Casterbridge, sorry Dorchester, the setting for one of his most famous works, The Mayor of Casterbridge.
Hardy’s depictions of the area in which he lived are much loved, connecting with many readers who delight in his descriptions of daily agricultural life and simple living.
And if you’re looking for your own piece of Wessex, you may be interested in this superb signature of the author, written in fountain pen in an autograph album.
Available for just £395, the autograph represents a wonderful opportunity for literary lovers and collectors alike to remember one of England’s greatest novelists.