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Publisher's Summary

Exclusively from Audible
Two on a Tower is Hardy's ninth novel and contains perhaps his most complete use of the theme of love across the class and age divide, to beautifully depict Hardy's reverence for science and astronomy.
The unhappily married Lady Constantine breaks all the rules of social etiquette when she falls in love with young Swithin St. Cleeve, an astronomer and her social inferior. Despite their differences that society deems unacceptable, together, from an astronomical observatory, the lovers 'sweep the heavens'. But work, ambition and the pressures of the outside world intrude upon the pair.
Swithin is faced with a cruel choice. The death of Lady Constantine's husband leaves them free to marry but it's not that simple. He has the option of furthering his education with an inheritance that will propel his career into the highest levels of astronomical science. Does he choose love or ambition?
Within Two on a Tower, Hardy creates a wonderful and timeless contrast between the infinite reaches of the universe and the infinitesimal scale of human affairs. Hardy's intention, in his own words, was to 'set the emotional history of two infinitesimal lives against the stupendous background of the stellar universe'.
Hardy was a Victorian realist whose novels and poetry were greatly influenced by Romanticism, especially the poet William Wordsworth. His critical thoughts on Victorian society can be seen throughout much of his work.
Narrator Biography
Michael Kitchen is an accomplished actor of stage and screen. He is best known for his role as Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle in the ITV drama series Foyle's War (2002-2015). He has also starred as Bill Tanner in the Bond films GoldenEye (1995) and The World Is Not Enough (1999) as well as Berkeley Cole in the film Out of Africa (1985). Other notable television appearances have included roles in BBC Four's critically acclaimed comedy series Brian Pern (2017) and Channel 4's comedy Hacks (2012). Michael Kitchen's stage performances have included Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet for the Royal Shakespeare Company and roles in Tom Stoppard's plays On the Razzle and Rough Crossing. He has narrated many classic and contemporary audiobooks including Thomas Hardy's Two on a Tower, Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights and Robert Lewis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
Public Domain (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
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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 Kisha on 09-01-09

Old fashined love story

Thomas Hardy writes melodrama like nobody else ever and that's a good thing .I have never "read" any Hardy until this year but I am becoming a big fan .This is the second of his books I've heard this year and have a third in my library ready to listen to . His wording while at times lenghty is beautiful .He sets excellent moods and you can see the story play out in your mind.Michael Kitchen perfectly captures the mood and emotions of every character . I hope there's a BBC miniseries filmed for this one day .

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By mdk on 02-21-14

Good Story Great Narration

If you could sum up Two on a Tower in three words, what would they be?

almost classic... almost

What was one of the most memorable moments of Two on a Tower?

The final scene

Which character – as performed by Michael Kitchen – was your favorite?

Lady Constantine

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Not quite, the narration was spot on but the story had some slow points

Any additional comments?

This is generally regarded as a minor work of Hardy's. If that's true then it's still better than most famous authors' masterpieces. I fell in love with the heroine and the setting and Hardy had a lot to say from which he did not shy away.
It wasn't a perfect book. The hero Swithin, never quite materialized for me and I'm not sure how much I felt the romance. I loved her but not really 'them'. There were a few slow spots too and the very last sentence of the book was for me a huge disappointment and a mistake on Hardy's part in my humble opinion.
Still, the book is very much worth reading. 3.5 stars for the book. 5 stars for Michael Kitchen's performance

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Roderic on 06-08-15

Interesting, but not one of Hardy's best

This was a mildly enjoyable listen, interesting for the astronomical aspects of the plot and the local dialogue. The plot was somewhat contrived and the prose in general not up to the brilliance of Hardy's better work such as "The Mayor of Casterbridge".
Michael Kitchen did a solid job of narration.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Chris on 11-29-14

A good old fashioned love story

What made the experience of listening to Two on a Tower the most enjoyable?

The would they, won't they element.

What other book might you compare Two on a Tower to, and why?

Not sure. It stands on its own

What does Michael Kitchen bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Michael is a great narrator, brings the story to life.

Any additional comments?

Great story, with a twist at the end

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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