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Under the Greenwood Tree (Oxford World's Classics) [Paperback]

Thomas Hardy , Simon Gatrell
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

29 Jan 2009 Oxford World's Classics
This edition presents a critically established text based on comparisons of every revised version. Hardy placed this tale among his Novels of Character and Environment, a group which is held to include his most characteristic work.
ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks; Reissue edition (29 Jan 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199538514
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199538515
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 1.2 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 707,044 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Thomas Hardy was born in a cottage in Higher Bockhampton, near Dorchester, on 2 June 1840. He was educated locally and at sixteen was articled to a Dorchester architect, John Hicks. In 1862 he moved to London and found employment with another architect, Arthur Blomfield. He now began to write poetry and published an essay. By 1867 he had returned to Dorset to work as Hicks's assistant and began his first (unpublished) novel, The Poor Man and the Lady.

On an architectural visit to St Juliot in Cornwall in 1870 he met his first wife, Emma Gifford. Before their marriage in 1874 he had published four novels and was earning his living as a writer. More novels followed and in 1878 the Hardys moved from Dorset to the London literary scene. But in 1885, after building his house at Max Gate near Dorchester, Hardy again returned to Dorset. He then produced most of his major novels: The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886), The Woodlanders (1887), Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1891), The Pursuit of the Well-Beloved (1892) and Jude the Obscure (1895). Amidst the controversy caused by Jude the Obscure, he turned to the poetry he had been writing all his life. In the next thirty years he published over nine hundred poems and his epic drama in verse, The Dynasts.

After a long and bitter estrangement, Emma Hardy died at Max Gate in 1912. Paradoxically, the event triggered some of Hardy's finest love poetry. In 1914, however, he married Florence Dugdale, a close friend for several years. In 1910 he had been awarded the Order of Merit and was recognized, even revered, as the major literary figure of the time. He died on 11 January 1928. His ashes were buried in Westminster Abbey and his heart at Stinsford in Dorset.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Set around the village of Mellstock deep in Hardy's Wessex Under the Greenwood Tree centres around one man's tussle to get his girl. Perhaps Dick Dewy dreams too high above his station in chasing the new schoolteacher Fancy Day, but he pursues her resolved to shake off her rebuttals. Indeed he seems to be winning until the arrival of Mr Maybold, the new vicar. This is where Hardy affectionate tale of country life really asserts its quality. The villagers, deeply set in their traditions are unsettled by Maybold's plans to replace the "Mellstock Quire" of which Dick's father and grandfather are a part, with a new organ, who it is suggested should be played by Miss Day. The ensuing trepidation which is explored as they approach Maybold with their compromise package is quite magical in quality and the almost happy ending makes this a rare book enjoyed amongst those of us who prefer our characters alive and not dead.
A word of warning. Do persevere. This book contains several archaic names and dialectal constructions. This can be disconcerting at the start but eventually forms part of the quaint isolated rural cadence and paints an almost farcically accurate picture of some of the Mellstock's residents.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Hardy's best written books 3 Sep 1998
By A Customer
This is one of my favorite Hardy novels! His vivid descriptions bring the rustic setting, characters, and customs to life. It's like peering through a window into a world gone by. The story weaves together love, social position, and the slow displacement of old traditions with modern conventions. A delightful read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Novel 12 Oct 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Am reading this one after finishing Tess of the D'Urbevilles...what a sad book that is. Have read this one before and if you're after some light hearted humour, you have the right book! Enjoy!
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