Sunday, November 18, 2007

Under the Greenwood Tree - Thomas Hardy

The first and, by some way, the shortest of the Wessex novels shows that the special tone of these books was fully in place right from the start. The story is relatively straightforward and the feel-good ending achieved without major threat but Hardy's great theme of the crossing of social boundaries is already present in the love affair between the carter's son Dick and the gamekeeper's daughter Fancy. There is none of the brutality that figures in the finales of 'Tess' and 'Jude' and the lack of bitterness behind the writing makes for a more enjoyable read.


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