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Thomas Hardy

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  • The Return of the Native | Thomas Hardy

    The Return of the Native

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Thomas Hardy
    • Narrated By Alan Rickman
    Overall
    (181)
    Performance
    (134)
    Story
    (136)

    Set on Egdon Heath, a fictional barren moor in Wessex, Eustacia Vye longs for the excitement of city life but is cut off from the world in her grandfather's lonely cottage. Clym Yeobright who has returned to the area to become a schoolmaster seems to offer everything she dreams of: passion, excitement and the opportunity to escape. However, Clym's ambitions are quite different, and marriage only increases Eustacia's destructive restlessness, drawing others into a tangled web of deceit and unhappiness.

  • Tess of the D'Urbervilles | Thomas Hardy

    Tess of the D'Urbervilles

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Thomas Hardy
    • Narrated By Peter Firth
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (224)
    Performance
    (171)
    Story
    (167)

    When John Durbeyfield discovers a family connection to the ancient Norman family, the D'Urbervilles, the fate of daughter Tess is transformed. Sent by her ambitious parents to visit her wealthy D'Urberville cousins, Tess attracts the attention of the unscrupulous Alec. Seduced and discarded by him and alone in the world, she finds work as a milkmaid and the love of Angel Clare. Yet his love cannot accept the truth about Tess's past.

  • Far from the Madding Crowd | Thomas Hardy

    Far from the Madding Crowd

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Thomas Hardy
    • Narrated By Nathaniel Parker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (152)
    Performance
    (122)
    Story
    (121)

    Hardy's first major literary success, here brought to life by narrator Nathaniel Parker, is the story of the independent and spirited Bathsheba Everdene, who inherits her uncle's farm, the largest estate in the area. She surprises the villagers of Weatherbury by deciding to run it herself. Attracted to this bold young woman are three suitors all vying for her affections. They include the lonely gentleman-farmer Boldwood, the young and handsome but inconsiderate Sergeant Troy and the faithful shepherd Gabriel Oak.

  • The Mayor of Casterbridge | Thomas Hardy

    The Mayor of Casterbridge

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Thomas Hardy
    • Narrated By Tony Britton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (102)
    Performance
    (84)
    Story
    (85)

    This audiobook is about the rise and fall of Michael Henchard. While out-of-work he gets drunk at a fair and impulsively sells his wife and baby for five guineas to a sailor. Eighteen years later he is reunited with his wife and daughter, who discover that he has gained wealth and respect and is now the most prominent man in Casterbridge. Though he attempts to make amends he is no less impulsive and once again loses everything due to bad luck and his violent, selfish and vengeful nature.

  • Far From the Madding Crowd | Thomas Hardy

    Far From the Madding Crowd

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Thomas Hardy
    • Narrated By Jamie Parker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (84)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (72)

    In a remote corner of early Victorian England, where traditional practices remain untouched by time, Bathsheba Everdene stands out as a beacon of female independence and self-reliance. However, when confronted with three suitors, among them the dashing Sergeant Troy, she shows a reckless capriciousness that threatens the stability of the whole community. Published in 1874, and an immediate best seller, Far From the Madding Crowd established Thomas Hardy as one of Britain's foremost novelists.

  • Tess of the d'Urbervilles (Naxos) | Thomas Hardy

    Tess of the d'Urbervilles (Naxos)

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Thomas Hardy
    • Narrated By Anna Bentinck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    Socially critical and emotionally complex, Tess of the d'Urbervilles is Hardy's masterpiece. It tells the story of Tess Durbeyfield, forced by her family's poverty to claim kinship with the wealthy d'Urbervilles. Violated by the son, Alec, her hopes of rebuilding her life with the gentle and bookish Angel Clare founder when he learns of her past.

  • Hardy: The Mayor of Casterbridge | Thomas Hardy

    Hardy: The Mayor of Casterbridge

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Thomas Hardy
    • Narrated By Anton Lesser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (67)
    Performance
    (57)
    Story
    (56)

    Michael Henchard, drunk at a country fair, sells his wife and baby daughter for five guineas. The following day, in despair and remorse, he forswears alcohol and sets out to redeem himself. In time, he becomes a respected merchant and eventually the mayor of the town. But Fate is not to be so easily appeased, and Henchard finds his past actions resonate through and destroy his plans for the future.

  • Two on a Tower | Thomas Hardy

    Two on a Tower

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Thomas Hardy
    • Narrated By Michael Kitchen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (40)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (24)

    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'.

  • A Pair of Blue Eyes | Thomas Hardy

    A Pair of Blue Eyes

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Thomas Hardy
    • Narrated By Anna Bentinck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (6)

    Hardy's third novel, A Pair of Blue Eyes, follows the story of Elfride Swancourt. The daughter of the rector of Endelstow, a sparse, sea-swept parish in Cornwall, Elfride is caught between two suitors of very different backgrounds: Stephen Smith, a young architect restoring the old parish church; and the respectable, older man of London society, Henry Knight. The blue-eyed and high-spirited protagonist must untangle the conflicting messages of her heart and her mind.

  • Tess of the d'Urbervilles | Thomas Hardy

    Tess of the d'Urbervilles

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Thomas Hardy
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (25)

    Young Tess Durbeyfield attempts to restore her family's fortunes by claiming their connection with the aristocratic d'Urbervilles. But Alec d'Urberville is a rich wastrel who seduces her and makes her life miserable. When Tess meets Angel Clare, she is offered true love and happiness, but her past catches up with her and she faces an agonizing moral choice.

  • Under the Greenwood Tree | Thomas Hardy

    Under the Greenwood Tree

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Thomas Hardy
    • Narrated By Peter Joyce
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    A wonderfully evocative tale of the courtship of Fancy Day, newly arrived schoolmistress, by Dick Dewy, carrier of goods, during the four seasons of one year in Wessex. Most of Hardy's work had tragedy woven into the narrative but 'Under the Greenwood Tree' is full of whimsy and good humour. The story is not without its serious comment, however, as Hardy reflects on class division and the disappearance of heritage in the rural community.

  • The Woodlanders | Thomas Hardy

    The Woodlanders

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Thomas Hardy
    • Narrated By Stephen Thorne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    The Woodlanders is vintage Hardy. The story revolves around the young woman Grace Melbury, who returns to the leafy world of Little Hintock and soon finds herself at the center of a number of tragic events. In penetrating, incisive and beautiful prose, Hardy tells a moving tale of unrequited love as fate and the constraints of society thwart the happiness of our heroine.

  • Tess of the d'Urbervilles | Thomas Hardy

    Tess of the d'Urbervilles

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Thomas Hardy
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Tess Durbeyfield has become one of the most famous female protagonists in 19th-century British literature. Betrayed by the two men in her life - Alec D'Urberville, her seducer/rapist and father of her fated child; and Angel, her intellectual and pious husband - Tess takes justice, and her own destiny, into her delicate hands. In telling her desperate and passionate story, Hardy brings Tess to life with an extraordinary vividness that makes her live in the heart of the reader long after the novel is concluded.

  • Favorite Poems for Children | Lewis Carroll,James Reeves,Oliver Herford,Edward Lear,Kenneth Grahame,Hilaire Belloc,William Blake,Thomas Hardy

    Favorite Poems for Children

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 14 mins)
    • By Lewis Carroll, James Reeves, Oliver Herford, and others
    • Narrated By Katinka Wolf
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Dance with a lobster, telephone an elephant or knock on a moonlit door - this collection includes magical, macabre, dramatic, funny, bizarre, absurd, delightful, moving and charming poems by Lewis Carroll, A.A. Milne, Edward Lear, Hilaire Belloc, Kenneth Grahame and many others. Readers such as Anton Lesser, Simon Russell-Beale and Timothy West bring the lines beautifully to life and make this an ideal introduction to some of the best-loved children's poetry.

  • Jude the Obscure | Thomas Hardy

    Jude the Obscure

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Thomas Hardy
    • Narrated By Samuel West
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (7)

    Jude Fawley, the stonemason excluded not by his wits but by poverty from the world of Christminster privilege, finds fulfilment in his relationship with Sue Bridehead. Both have left earlier marriages. Ironically, when tragedy tests their union it is Sue, the modern emancipated woman, who proves unequal to the challenge. Hardy's fearless exploration of sexual and social relationships and his prophetic critique of marriage scandalised the late Victorian establishment and marked the end of his career as a novelist. Part of a series of vintage recordings taken from the Penguin Archives.

  • The Richard Burton Poetry Collection | Samuel Coleridge,Thomas Hardy,John Donne

    The Richard Burton Poetry Collection

    • UNABRIDGED (52 mins)
    • By Samuel Coleridge, Thomas Hardy, John Donne
    • Narrated By Richard Burton
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (19)

    Richard Burton reads from Hardy and Donne, and performs a wonderful unabridged version of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (along with Robert Hardy and John Neville).

  • Under the Greenwood Tree: The Mellstock Choir - A Rural Painting of the Dutch School | Thomas Hardy

    Under the Greenwood Tree: The Mellstock Choir - A Rural Painting of the Dutch School

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Thomas Hardy
    • Narrated By Jamie Parker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Under the Greenwood Tree is an affectionate and youthful portrait of a world Hardy knew well - village life in 'Wessex' - in which a romantic tale is set against changing circumstances. The traditional feature of local music making performed by the village band and choir is challenged by the modern innovation of organ and organist providing music in the church.

  • The Woodlanders | Thomas Hardy

    The Woodlanders

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Thomas Hardy
    • Narrated By Samuel West
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (73)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (59)

    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.

  • Jude The Obscure | Thomas Hardy

    Jude The Obscure

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Thomas Hardy
    • Narrated By Stephen Thorne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (46)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (29)

    This is the story of a young country workman obsessed by his ambition to become an Oxford student, interwoven with his fraught relationships with two women.

  • Under the Greenwood Tree | Thomas Hardy

    Under the Greenwood Tree

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Thomas Hardy
    • Narrated By Robert Hardy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    The four seasons of the Wessex year form the backdrop for the delightful romance of Dick Dewy and Fancy Day. The ups and downs of their courtship are set alongside the story of the rustics who form the church choir.

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