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Thomas Hardy

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  • 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
    (247)
    Performance
    (193)
    Story
    (189)

    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.

    birdie says: "Wonderful imagery"
  • 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
    (193)
    Performance
    (144)
    Story
    (147)

    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.

    Pauline says: "Marvellous."
  • 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
    (98)
    Performance
    (84)
    Story
    (82)

    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.

    says: "Far from the madding crowd"
  • 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
    (164)
    Performance
    (133)
    Story
    (132)

    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.

    MRS DS Clark says: "Riveting Story, Superb Reading"
  • 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
    (69)
    Performance
    (58)
    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.

    Felix says: "The Mayor of Casterbridge"
  • 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
    (112)
    Performance
    (92)
    Story
    (93)

    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.

    Richard says: "Excellent reading"
  • Winter Words: Poetry and Personal Writings (Unabridged Selections) | Thomas Hardy

    Winter Words: Poetry and Personal Writings (Unabridged Selections)

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Thomas Hardy
    • Narrated By Bruce Alexander, Janet Maw
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    This selection of Hardy's poetry does full justice to its humanity, integrity, humour and evocative power, ranging from charming anthology pieces such as Weathers to the great love poems he wrote after the death of his first wife and his meditations on war and phillosophy.

  • 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.

    tonyridgway says: "Hardy perennial ."
  • Richard Burton Reads the Poetry of Thomas Hardy | Thomas Hardy

    Richard Burton Reads the Poetry of Thomas Hardy

    • ABRIDGED (40 mins)
    • By Thomas Hardy
    • Narrated By Richard Burton
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Richard Burton, the multi-award winning actor, reads the finest work of Thomas Hardy.

    Tom says: "An absolute gem"
  • 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
    (26)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (18)

    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.

    Ms. J. S. Shaw says: "Tess of the D'Urbervilles"
  • Jude the Obscure | Thomas Hardy

    Jude the Obscure

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Thomas Hardy
    • Narrated By Jenny Sterlin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    When the great Thomas Hardy published this heart-wrenching novel, he had no idea it would be his last. But the book stirred so much controversy and protest, Hardy vowed to never write fiction again. Jude the Obscure tells the story of a stonemason, tricked into a loveless marriage, who craves a formal education and a finer existence. Separated from his wife, Jude begins a new life with his cousin, and the couple defies social convention at every turn.

  • The Woodlanders | Thomas Hardy

    The Woodlanders

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Thomas Hardy
    • Narrated By Samuel West
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (76)
    Performance
    (63)
    Story
    (62)

    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.

    linda says: "Excellent read"
  • 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
    (41)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (25)

    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'.

    Roderic says: "Interesting, but not one of Hardy's best"
  • 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.

    Judy Corstjens says: "Poetry Revisited"
  • The Poetry of Thomas Hardy | Thomas Hardy

    The Poetry of Thomas Hardy

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 23 mins)
    • By Thomas Hardy
    • Narrated By James Taylor, Gideon Wagner, Richard Mitchley, and others
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Many giants of literature originate from the shores of the emerald isles: Shakespeare, Dickens, Chaucer, the Brontes, and Austen, to which most people would willingly add the name Thomas Hardy. Far from the Madding Crowd, Tess of the D'Urbervilles, and The Mayor of Casterbridge are but three of his literary masterpieces. But let us go further and add to his canon his poems....

  • The Poetry of Thomas Hardy | Thomas Hardy

    The Poetry of Thomas Hardy

    • ABRIDGED (37 mins)
    • By Thomas Hardy
    • Narrated By Carleton Hobbs, John Glen, Richard Burton, and others
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    A collection of Thomas Hardy's finest poetry read by Carleton Hobbs, John Glen, Richard Burton, and Edith Evans.

  • The Return of the Native | Thomas Hardy

    The Return of the Native

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Thomas Hardy
    • Narrated By Nicholas Rowe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (20)

    In the remote wildness of Egdon Heath, the crossed love affairs and marriages of a small group of people are played out against the background of nature's beauty and indifference to mankind. Through a series of vivid incidents and encounters, The Return of the Native moves in a relentless drive towards tragedy, as the plans and dreams of the lovers miscarry, defeated by chance, or destiny or self-deception. In their unhappy stories, Hardy gives us a powerful dramatization of his bleak philosophy, his belief in man's helplessness before the malevolence of the universe.

    Miss Clare Weightman says: "The best of Hardy - magical!"
  • 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.

  • Far From the Madding Crowd | Thomas Hardy

    Far From the Madding Crowd

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Thomas Hardy
    • Narrated By Jill Masters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (29)

    Thomas Hardy brings us an England that once existed but no more. It is rural, traditional, pastoral - a society of mannered conduct that flows like a deep river where powerful currents eddy and swirl. In this powerful novel of love and disillusion, Hardy's heroine is torn between the three men in her life. Passionate but capricious, her romantic involvements have fascinated generations of readers.

    Adrian M Thorne says: "Great story, terrible audio quality"
  • 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
    (48)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (31)

    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.

    Gio Clairval says: "Irritating in places"
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