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Top Ten Thomas Hardy Novels

Ekaterina Alexandrovna "kitty"
 
The Mayor of Casterbridge (Penguin Popular Classics)
The Mayor of Casterbridge (Penguin Popular Classics)
"An utterly original concept (although the selling of the wife was based on a real incident).  This is a magnificently tragic story."
Tess of the D'urbervilles (Penguin Popular Classics)
Tess of the D'urbervilles (Penguin Popular Classics)
"This is the story of Tess, a naive country girl, who loses her  innocence through a life changing tragedy, that threatens to ruin her chance of happiness. Probably the saddest ending of a Hardy novel."
Far from the Madding Crowd (NEW LONGMAN LITERATURE 14-18)
Far from the Madding Crowd (NEW LONGMAN LITERATURE 14-18)
"A surprisingly happy ending for a Hardy novel, although there are quite a few tragedies on the way."
Jude the Obscure (Norton Critical Editions)
Jude the Obscure (Norton Critical Editions)
"The bitterness felt by the central character,Jude,stems from Hardy's own experiences, and as a result displays the harsh reality of hierarchical social closure felt by those on the outside looking in."
The Woodlanders (Wordsworth Classics)
The Woodlanders (Wordsworth Classics)
"What can I say..?Yet another brilliant book set in the beautiful Wessex countryside, full of the vivid and realistic characters Hardy portrays so well in all his novels."
Under the Greenwood Tree (Wordsworth Classics)
Under the Greenwood Tree (Wordsworth Classics)
"Although a pretty straightforward story, the central theme of this book is the resistance to modernisation by a small rural community, which essentially represents a larger societal issue of  the day."
A Laodicean: Or the Castle of the De Stancys (Penguin Classics)
A Laodicean: Or the Castle of the De Stancys (Penguin Classics)
"This book differs from Hardy's instantly recognisable style.  Instead of focusing on the experiences of a rural community, as in many of his other novels,the focus of this story is much more intimate."
The Well-Beloved with The Pursuit of the Well-Beloved (Wordsworth Classics)
The Well-Beloved with The Pursuit of the Well-Beloved (Wordsworth Classics)
"It took me a long time to locate this most elusive book, but it lived up to, and excelled my expectations...this is a story that will haunt you long after finishing it."
The Withered Arm and Other Wessex Tales (New Windmills)
The Withered Arm and Other Wessex Tales (New Windmills)
"Although most people are probably familiar with this book from their GCSE's, it is well worth a voluntary read."
The Hand of Ethelberta: A Comedy in Chapters (Penguin Classics)
The Hand of Ethelberta: A Comedy in Chapters (Penguin Classics)
"A riveting comedy focusing on the exploits of the upwardly mobile heroine (of the title) who attempts to better herself through unique means in a patriarchal world."