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Publisher's Summary

Set in the Dorset landscape familiar to Hardy novels, The Woodlanders concerns the fortunes of Giles Winterborne, whose love for the well-do-do Grace Melbury is challenged by the arrival of a dashing and dissolute doctor, Edred Fitzpiers. When the mysterious Mrs Charmond further complicates the romantic entanglements, marital choice and class mobility become inextricably linked.
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Critic Reviews

"The foremost novelist of his time." (Geoffrey Harvey, The Complete Critical Guide to Thomas Hardy)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Molly Aultz on 06-12-08

Thomas Hardy lesser known work

I have never heard of this book until searching on this website. I found the story to be classic Thomas Hardy, even more lyrical and poetic then some of his other more famous works. As always, many twists and turns in the characters and experiences and a surprising ending. He introduces people and places through words, you can form an image of - the doctor, the yeoman, and his famous oral depiction of beautiful places, customs, and a common amiable village culture now lost in the mists of time. If you like Thomas Hardy, this is a definate listen.

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26 of 26 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By onelucent on 01-21-11

A mature, unforced Hardy.

One of my favorite Hardy novels. Maybe, his best. Less preaching and display of erudition; more of a natural flow; wonderful characters, even when they are fulfilling "types;" great rustics.. Interesting, what I would call modern ending-but I won't spoil it. This is a mature writer who doesn't have to show-off or try too hard.

The narrator is outstanding. Great pacing and vocal quality. Avoids overly affected female voices. Captures the poetry in Hardy's writing.

Finally, why is Hardy still read when so many of the novels are sad or tragic-it's in the beauty of the language and the wisdom/truth of the speech. A book one can listen to repeatedly.

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11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By linda on 06-03-13

Excellent read

This is the best book I have read for a long time. I was engrossed from start to finish. Hardy so cleverly develops the characters and relationships that you feel you know them and have a connection from early on in the book.
I didn't want it to end.

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8 of 9 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Nibor on 05-28-16

Well loved Hardy novel, wonderful narration

What did you like most about The Woodlanders?

As always with Hardy, its great to immerse yourself in the problems of a bucolic community- very different from out 'issues' these days. I had to review to recommend Samuel West's sensitive narration, which made the book for me.

What other book might you compare The Woodlanders to, and why?

Any other Hardy!

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I realised that my problems are small compared to the past.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By genesispainter on 05-08-17

Great book, but where do the chapters start/end?

Wonderfully narrated. Chapters being actually chapters instead of hour-ish long blocks would be nice, though.

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