With its lush landscapes and provincial old-world lifestyle, Thomas Hardy's fictional borough of Wessex suggests the hidden magic and adventurous lure of the English countryside : It is the England of Chaucer's pilgrims, or what E. M. Forster called "the greenery" - a mythic landscape of boundless possibility. Recited in Walter Zimmerman's lilting baritone, "The Three Strangers" serves as a pastoral history for the Wessex area. Hardy's short tale is almost like an allegory - perhaps passed down orally - and Zimmerman captures the wistful folksiness of the storyteller, relating the parable of a traveler wrongfully convicted of theft. As the townspeople realize their error in judgment, the true criminal begins to elicit sympathy among the country-folk, calling into question the very nature of crime and justice.
Thomas Hardy was an English poet, novelist, and short story writer. He is famous for his depictions of Wessex, an imaginary county. Many of his stories also reflected his sense of the tragedy in human life.
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© and (P)1983 Jimcin Recordings
"The foremost novelist of his time." (Geoffrey Harvey, The Complete Critical Guide to Thomas Hardy)
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"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Hanging"
Walter Zimmerman did a fine job narrating this fun little tale. Hardy relates a story in which the hangman and his proposed victim met by accident with song and drink the night before the big event. The story satisfies and leaves one smiling. One cannot often say that about a hanging.
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