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Despite studying and loving literature, I have always struggled to read Thomas Hardy. He is so lusciously descriptive that it sometimes feels like overkill. Discussing writing with locally-based romantic fiction author, Johanna Jackson, today, we questioned whether overly-descriptive writing is so difficult because it leaves the reader with little imaginative input to add to the written word, as all the gaps are filled.
Anyway, I mention Hardy because of his connections with St Juliot Church, near Boscastle, which I visited for the second time yesterday on my return from Pendoggett. Hardy was a 30-year-old architect when he visited the church and he met his wife to be, Emma Gifford, in 1870.
The first visit lasted four days during which Hardy visited Tintagel, Beeny Cliff and the Valency Valley.Hardy returned to St Juliot in August that same year when he stayed longer. As well as working on the church he and Emma continued to explore the North Cornwall coast including Bude, Trebarwith Strand and The Strangles beach. It was whilst visiting Tintagel Castle that they found themselves locked in and had to attract attention by waving a handkerchief.