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Under the Greenwood Tree

Narrated by: Peter Joyce
Length: 6 hrs and 43 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (9 ratings)

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Summary

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.

Parson Maybold, a rival for Fancy’s hand, has plans to install a mechanical organ in his church thereby replacing the services of the choir. The village rustics, who resent this intrusion, bring much comedy to the tale and were such a successful addition that the author used the idea in several of his later works.

The book is Hardy’s most appealing statement - revealing his respect and reverence for musical tradition, the countryside, and the simple nature of the people who inhabited its fragile communities.

©2007 Assembled Stories (P)2007 Assembled Stories

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Hardys best.

I found this Hardys most enjoyable work. Maybe not the classic of The Mayor of Casterbridge but from the christmas eve scene on the lane right to the end I found it charming, amusing and o so Dorset. I found that I had gained a full understanding of how life would have been in Dorset at this time when I had finished. I felt that Hardys portrayal of life in this novel was that life was simple, Innocent and that time belonged to the individual. Hardys characters and his descriptions of the countryside are delightful and you are in no doubt that you are in Dorset and no other county.
Stephen Cleland
N. Ireland.

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  • Dave
  • 07-02-11

Beautiful story

Peter Joyce does a marvelous job bringing this old story to life. I have read most of Hardy's novels and this is his brightest, joyous and most humorous tale. No dark Jude or hopeless Tess here; just wonderful characters, delightful story of an age long gone and brilliant refections of rural southern England. Here is a 'must read' for Hardy fans and a worthwhile listen for those unfamiliar with the world of Thomas Hardy.

4 people found this helpful