Keepen Up O' Chris'mas

Festive celebrations in words and music. Refreshments: Christmas cake, chocolate log, mince pies and more.

Tuesday 12th December 2017

Welcome to the William Barnes Society

William Barnes is perhaps best known as the writer of Dorset dialect poetry through he published many poems in 'National English' as well. His Poetry was admired by Alfred, Lord Tennyson and is thought to have been influential in the writings of Gerard Manely Hopkins and Thomas Hardy.  Barnes' interest in dialect prompted him to become a profoundly learned philologist who had taught himself to read some sixty languages and published many papers defending his strength of native (i.e. Saxon) English against the incursions of French and Latin.

Barnes' interests were by no means confined to poetry and philology, however, He was a schoolmaster and subsequently, a clergyman by profession, deeply loved by his pupils and parishioners who took added delight in his humour and eccentricity.

Barnes loved such practical arts as engraving and wood turning; played a variety of instruments; helped to found the Dorset County Museum and the Dorset Natural History and Antiquarian Field Club; published school text books and addressed innumerable meetings.  The humour and pathos of his readings of his own dialect poetry delighted audiences in Dorset and beyond.  Thomas Hardy remarked of him "a more notable example of self-help has seldom been recorded", and on Barnes' death in 1886, declared that he was "the most interesting link between present and past forms of rural life that England possessed".

Celebrate his life and work with the William Barnes Society. Dorset Meetings are held throughout the year, with talks, poetry readings, recitals and other entertainments including excursions to places with special Barnes connections.

 

 

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About

Information about William Barnes and the William Barnes Society based in Dorset England.

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About William Barnes, the Dorset Dialect Poet and Scholar

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Forthcoming events

Keepen Up O' Chris'mas Festive celebrations in words and music. Refreshments: Christmas cake, chocolate log, mince pies and more. Tuesday 12th December 2017
What’s the point of William Barnes in 21st Century? A talk by Dr Richard Bradbury Tuesday 27th March 2018
Annual Service of Remembrance of William Barnes Morning service, with dialect reading and wreath laying at William Barnes and and his daughter Laura grave Sunday 22nd April 2018
The Serpent and it’s Local Connections Talk, Music and Poetry with Philip Humphries Tuesday 15th May 2018

Latest news

John Blackmore captivates Society members Following the recent William Barnes Society Annual General Meeting, John Blackmore presented 'Music and Song' to the audience. Sunday 15th October 2017
Service of Remembrance to William Barnes On Sunday 8h October 2017 10:30am, at St Peter’s Church, Dorchester, the Morning Service to commemorate the anniversary of the death of William Barnes took place. It was followed by a wreath laying at the statute. Monday 9th October 2017
Crossways Library opens its doors to welcome William Barnes Poetry On 19th September 2017, a group of William Barnes Society members gave an evening of poetry, music and song at Crossways Library for the Local History Group and guests. Wednesday 20th September 2017
Stock Gaylard Oak Fair 2017 Once again Members of the William Barnes Society were invited on August 27th to The Stock Gaylard Oak Fair. for the special event celebrating woodcraft, timber, conservation and the countryside. Monday 28th August 2017

Part 1: My Early Years in the Dorset of William Barnes

Part 1: My Early Years in the Dorset of William BarnesPart 1: My Early Years in the Dorset of William Barnes As a part of series, Hilary Townsend looks back at her childhood and how William Barnes poetry reflected in her growing up in the Blackmore Vale

About

AboutAbout Information about William Barnes and the William Barnes Society based in Dorset England.
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