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The Woodlanders (1887)

por Thomas Hardy

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2,362526,418 (3.82)104
The Woodlanders (1887) was Thomas Hardy's elventh published novel and the one he claimed to like 'as a story, the best of all'. It is a story of wide appeal, having much to say on themes such as marriage and social class, and with a background revealing its author's profound knowledge and appreciation of many matters, particularly nature and country life. As part of The Cambridge Edition of the Novels and Stories of Thomas Hardy, this edition of the novel provides an authoritative and accurate text which aims to reflect Hardy's original artistic intention and represent the novel as it would have been read by his Victorian readers. The novel is supported by a comprehensive introduction, chronology and accompanying textual apparatus which allows the modern reader to trace the novel's evolution from composition to first publication and through several stages of revision in succeeding editions in the quarter of a century following its first publication.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 51 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
I undertook to read The Woodlanders because [a:Roger Deakin|18382704|Roger Deakin|https://s.gr-assets.com/assets/nophoto/user/m_50x66-82093808bca726cb3249a493fbd3bd0f.png] thought so highly of it. But throughout the entirety of this book, I just kept thinking of the main characters "what a bunch of wankers." Perhaps it's unfair to make that 21st-century judgment on 19th-century characters. But jiminy crickets! The indecision and reticence exhibited by all and sundry is oppressive. And Hardy quite ignores the most interesting characters (Marty South, Robert Creadle, and the other common folk of the village).
[Audiobook note: The reader, Stephen Green, was good enough, but not inspiring. (Maybe he, too, was depressed and frustrated by the story.)] ( )
  Treebeard_404 | Jan 23, 2024 |
"He wondered if her father's ambition which had purchased for her the means of intellectual light and culture far beyond those of any other native of the village, would conduce to the flight of her future interests above and away from the local life which was once to her the movement of the world."

This is considered one of the six masterpieces of Hardy's Wessex novels. The other five are The Mayor of Casterbridge, Far From the Madding Crowd, Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Jude the Obscure, and The Return of the Native. This is the only one of those novels that I had not yet read (though to be fair other than Jude which I have read multiple times, I read them all many years ago, so perhaps they are due a reread). Of the group, this is my least favorite, though it is still a good read, and Hardy himself described it as his favorite of his novels.

Grace Melbury, daughter of a rural timber dealer from the village of Little Hintlock, was sent away to school by her father to be educated as a "lady." Before she left, she had a loose understanding with local apple farmer Giles Winterbourne. Now that she has returned, her father believes that marrying Giles would be beneath Grace and he wants her to marry someone of a higher social status. There is a new doctor in the area, Edred Fitzpiers, and this is who Grace ends up marrying. Although she suspects before the marriage that Edred is a philanderer and of low moral character (and knows that Giles is true-hearted and honest), Grace marries Edred anyway to please her father. The marriage rapidly deteriorates, and Edred becomes infatuated with a wealthy local widow who owns most of the land in the area, Felice Charmond. And always hanging in the background observing is another true-hearted villager, Marty South, who is secretly in love with Giles.

Hardy considered this one of his Novels of Character and Environment, and the message he is seeking to get across is loud and clear: Valuing social status over good character can only lead to tragedy. Unlike some of his other novels, we have characters dealing with the consequences of the wrong choices they have made in life, rather than characters being constantly downtrodden by fate. It's a novel about the conflicts wrought in society by class privilege and wealth, and Hardy comes down on the side of the honest and hard-working villagers rather than the gentry.

I mostly enjoyed this, although as I said it's not my favorite Hardy. One thing people have really liked about the book is its many lyrical descriptions of Nature, which I was not particularly interested in. But I'm glad I read it.

3 1/2 stars ( )
  arubabookwoman | Sep 9, 2023 |
Born at midnight by C.C Hunter
This is the first book I have read by this author I liked this book. This book is about kylie Galen has been having not a good summer her parents divorce and her boyfriend dumps her than she was caught at a party with alcohol present her mother than send her to camp, the camp is called shadow falls, kylie than find out the camp is for supernatural. Then she embarks to find out what she is ( )
  Sterling4589 | Feb 14, 2023 |
The Woodlanders was published in 1887 and it is reflective of its time. The story centers around life in Little Hintock, a fictional village in rural England. Grace Melbury, the only child of a timber-merchant, is returning home after being educated in the city. Her father has paid for a higher education to enable her to rise above her social station and marry well. She has been courted by local resident Giles Winterbourne, but when his situation deteriorates, their bond is broken. She is then noticed by a physician, Dr. Fitzpiers, who initially sees her as not quite “good enough” due to his higher social standing, but is won over by her education, cleverness, and charm. A wealthy widow complicates the relationship between Dr. Fitzpiers and Grace, leading to unhappiness for everyone involved.

This book is a classic Victorian novel. The pastoral setting is vividly described. It contains long descriptive sentences with somewhat archaic construction, requiring some re-reading along the way. It is focused on the characters, and their interactions and motivations. There is not much in the way of “action” especially the way “action” is emphasized in contemporary fiction. It is well-constructed and flows pleasantly. Hardy has something to say about happiness, such as finding it in a simple and honest life and being content with what we have. Hardy employs themes typical of his novels, such as marital fidelity, social class, the erosion of values that come with “progress,” and unsuitably matched pairs. He appears to take issue with the way women were typically treated and examines the double standards of the time. Hardy provides hints of upcoming events and outcomes through the use of snippets of quotes from prominent poets and Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure.

I enjoy reading about life in the 19th century from those that lived it. While we can always read historical fiction written in current times, it is particularly insightful to read it from a point of view of someone who never knew life in its modern form, where carriages and horses were modes of transportation, candles or lanterns used as sources of light, and goods were hand-made. It is apparent in reading this novel that even though technology and change have made the world into a much different place, human nature remains much the same. Recommended to those that enjoy Victorian-era literature.
( )
  Castlelass | Oct 30, 2022 |
[b:The Woodlanders|341281|The Woodlanders|Thomas Hardy|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1389977312l/341281._SY75_.jpg|2502604] is written in the moody, sometimes downcast, style of Thomas Hardy’s more famous novels, [b:Tess of the D'Urbervilles|32261|Tess of the D'Urbervilles|Thomas Hardy|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1434302708l/32261._SY75_.jpg|3331021] and [b:Jude the Obscure|50798|Jude the Obscure|Thomas Hardy|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1389403264l/50798._SY75_.jpg|41342119], with the romantic flavor that defines [b:Far From the Madding Crowd|31463|Far From the Madding Crowd|Thomas Hardy|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1388279695l/31463._SY75_.jpg|914540]. It becomes obvious early on that Giles Winterborne and Grace Melbury are not to have a smooth course to love, although their youthful attachment and her father's approval should have pointed to the fact that they would. The presence of a new doctor in the district, Doctor Fitzpiers; the mysterious landlady at the manor, Mrs. Chamond; and the natural beauty, Marty Smart, round out the cast and push forward the calamitous events that are to come.

The battle between frost and thaw was continuing in mid-air; the trees dripped on the garden-plots, where no vegetables would grow for the dripping, though they were planted year after year with that curious mechanical regularity of country people in the face of hopelessness…

Thomas Hardy is a wizard when he speaks of the connection of man to nature, it echoes the events in the lives of his characters, perhaps God's commentary on what mankind conceives. He so often writes in a Romantic tradition, seeing nature as the purer, moral path, and the decline in rural society as a deterioration of the world at large. The pure characters in this novel are Giles Winterborne and Marty Smart, and the descriptions of the two of them in their natural labor are some of the most riveting passages in the story. It must say a great deal about Hardy’s view of the world that the semi-villainous Fitzpier ends in better stead than either of them at the end of the novel. Alas, in life and in Hardy, good does not often prevail.

And yet to every bad there is a worse.

I wonder if it is the romantic or the melancholy side of me that loves Hardy so much. His view of the world we live in is not rosy and sometimes downright bleak, and yet he shows us glimpses of goodness and the possibility of happiness--for there is often a path to happiness that his characters shun, and a very few of them come to destinations that might result in some redemption. Often it is simply a lack of self-awareness or an inability to communicate their feelings that land them in their terrible circumstances; and which of us cannot relate to those moments in life?

Every time I start a Hardy novel I think, “this one will not live up to the others”, but as it progresses, I revise that thought, for Hardy always builds toward a gripping climax and never makes you feel you have wasted your time with his characters or been handed a mediocre plot. I have one more Hardy on my required reading for this year...with any luck I can add another before the end of 2020 and make it three.


( )
  mattorsara | Aug 11, 2022 |
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Thomas Hardyautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
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Ingham, PatriciaEditorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Kramer, DaleEditorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Székely, MagdaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Thorne, StephenNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
West, SamuelNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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The rambler who, for old association's sake, should trace the forsaken coach-road running almost in a meridional line from Bristol to the south shore of England, would find himself during the latter half of his journey in the vicinity of some extensive woodlands, interspersed with apple-orchards.
In the chronology of Thomas Hardy's fiction The Woodlanders (1887) comes between The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886) and Tess of the d'Urbervilles (1891). (Introduction)
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The Woodlanders (1887) was Thomas Hardy's elventh published novel and the one he claimed to like 'as a story, the best of all'. It is a story of wide appeal, having much to say on themes such as marriage and social class, and with a background revealing its author's profound knowledge and appreciation of many matters, particularly nature and country life. As part of The Cambridge Edition of the Novels and Stories of Thomas Hardy, this edition of the novel provides an authoritative and accurate text which aims to reflect Hardy's original artistic intention and represent the novel as it would have been read by his Victorian readers. The novel is supported by a comprehensive introduction, chronology and accompanying textual apparatus which allows the modern reader to trace the novel's evolution from composition to first publication and through several stages of revision in succeeding editions in the quarter of a century following its first publication.

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