The Books

Mary and Kate Hardy, Salisbury, Wessex and Beyond

Mary and Kate Hardy front cover

Mary and Kate Hardy, sisters of the famous Thomas Hardy, novelist and poet, have featured little in books about their brother.

The story of their lives is worth telling, because of the influence it had on their brother’s writing. Their experiences at College in Salisbury, and in their teaching years in Wessex and beyond, provided him with rich material for his work.

Mary and Kate’s austere and rigorous years at Salisbury Diocesan Training College were followed by the hardship of teaching in impoverished country schools. The book explores the different personalities of the sisters and their journeys through life at a time when women were often treated unfairly and with injustice.

The book is fully illustrated, with the pictures setting the scene as much as the words.

The book will be priced at £14.99 including P&P

We Will Teach!

We Will Teach front cover

‘Come back and tell us the stories of individual students.’ This was the response to one of our first talks about Inspired to Teach. At that time, the second book was only a glimmer in our minds, but that comment helped to focus our thoughts and fire our enthusiasm!

The result is We will Teach!, which explores the link between the College and the Channel Islands. What was it that drew hundreds of young women to cross the sea and train as teachers in Salisbury? Extensive research has helped us to find the answers.

From the first student, who arrived by packet steamer from Guernsey in 1843, to the last ones in the 1970s, we tell some of their stories, including the dark days when the islands were occupied during the Second World War. Fully illustrated, these accounts are set in the islands and in Salisbury. They are a fascinating insight into how life changed as communications improved and education advanced.

Once hooked, you will want to read to the end!

"Hugely informative and fascinating, this is a book to treasure"

Jenni Last, former student

Inspired to Teach

Inspired to Teach front cover

The College of Sarum St. Michael (formerly Salisbury Diocesan Teacher Training College) closed in 1978. Every year around 400 former students from all over the country return for a reunion to celebrate their college years, their training and the deep friendships that many made. Why do they come? What made their student days so special?

It was at an annual re-union that the request was made for a book about the college to be written. There is such a fascinating and interesting story to tell! From 1841, until the closure, thousands of students were trained in this special place 'under the Cathedral spire'.

What Can You Expect?

Inspired to Teach is a perfect 'dipping in' coffee table book to all those interested in education and social and local history. It will be of enormous interest to past students, staff and their families.

"It really is a very fine piece of scholarship and
every picture tells a story"

Bishop John Cavell

The book was launched on 9th April 2015, and you can order your copy today.

West Room 1914-1915
B Block Queen's House - 1963
Inspired to Teach front cover

Some of the book's highlights include:

  • The Model School
  • The Swinging Sixties
  • The Hardy sisters
  • Channel Island students
  • Wartime years
  • Cathedral and College
  • Clara Grant
  • Students at work and play
  • King's House
  • The Cookery School
And much more...

Inspired to Teach

Price: £25.00 (includes UK P&P)


Mary and Kate Hardy

Price: £14.99 (includes UK P&P) Available at Amazon

We Will Teach!

Price: £15.00 (includes UK P&P)