Two on a Tower

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Part of 'Hardy's Women' Radio 4 Series

'Two on a Tower' is not one of Hardy's major works. The plot twists and turns around issues that challenged readers of the time, including double bigamy, secret marriages and illegitimacy.

 

The story is framed by the 1882 Married Women's Property act and the 1884 Transit of Venus, important social and scientific markers. My adaptation uses these as drivers. It focuses on Lady Viviette Constantine Blount; her experience of domestic violence then abandonment by her husband, and her relationship with young astronomer Swithin. Her rights as a person have been eroded first by marriage then further by widowhood. Swithin has been educated beyond his family's fallen fortune. They both stand 'betwix stations', gazing up through the telescope at the the top Viviette's husband's folly of a tower at the 'annihilating' scale of the universe. 

 

Produced by John Norton at BBC Cardiff. Sound design by Nigel Lewis. With Olivia Poulet, Callum Scott Howells, Tommy Sim’aan, Scarlett Courtney, Tony Turner, Jane Slavin, Mark Danbury and Kieron Self.  Broadcast May 2021 LISTEN HERE.

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