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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
    (302)
    Performance
    (244)
    Story
    (239)

    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"
  • 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
    (104)
    Performance
    (90)
    Story
    (88)

    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"
  • 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
    (203)
    Performance
    (153)
    Story
    (156)

    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 (13 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Thomas Hardy
    • Narrated By Nathaniel Parker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (178)
    Performance
    (146)
    Story
    (145)

    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"
  • 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
    (118)
    Performance
    (97)
    Story
    (99)

    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"
  • 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
    (43)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (20)

    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).

    Blackbird says: "Could have been perfect"
  • A Literary Christmas | Charles Dickens,Jane Austen,Rudyard Kipling,Thomas Hardy,William Wordsworth,Laurie Lee,Samuel Pepys

    A Literary Christmas

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Rudyard Kipling, and others
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson, Simon Callow
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (6)

    Read by Juliet Stevenson and Simon Callow, A Literary Christmas is a seasonal anthology that collects together poems, short stories, and prose extracts by some of the greatest poets and writers in the English language. Like Charles Dickens’ ghosts of Christmas Past and Present, they are representative of times old and new - from John Donne’s Elizabethan hymn over the baby Jesus to Rudyard Kipling’s "Christmas in India", from Thomas Tusser counting the cost of a Tudor feast to Laurie Lee’s "Cider with Rosie".

  • 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
    (53)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (36)

    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"
  • The Woodlanders | Thomas Hardy

    The Woodlanders

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Thomas Hardy
    • Narrated By Stephen Thorne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9)
    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 ."
  • 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
    (72)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (59)

    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"
  • Jude the Obscure | Thomas Hardy

    Jude the Obscure

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Thomas Hardy
    • Narrated By Neville Jason
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    Sexually innocent Jude Fawley is trapped into marriage by seductive Arabella Donn, but their union is an unhappy one and Arabella leaves him. Jude's welcome freedom allows him to pursue his obsession with his pretty cousin Sue Bridehead, a brilliant, charismatic free-thinker who would be his ideal soul-mate if not for her aversion to physical love. When Jude and Sue decide to lead their lives outside marriage they bring down on themselves all the force of a repressive society.

    stephen says: "A Pleasant Surprise for Me."
  • 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
    (33)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (27)

    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.

    Helen says: "not Hardy at his best - woeful narration"
  • 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.

  • 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
    (9)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (8)

    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.

  • 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 | Thomas Hardy

    Tess of the D'Urbervilles

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Thomas Hardy
    • Narrated By Stephen Jack
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Tess of the d'Urbervilles: A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented was Thomas Hardy's penultimate novel.

    First published in 1891 and now considered a great classic of English literature, the book received mixed reviews when it first appeared, in part because it challenged the sexual mores of Hardy's day.

    Simon says: "excellence of hardys narrative"
  • 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.

  • 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
    (33)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (31)

    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"
  • A Laodicean: A Story of Today | Thomas Hardy

    A Laodicean: A Story of Today

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Thomas Hardy
    • Narrated By Clive Chafer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Paula Power, the daughter of a wealthy railway magnate, inherits De Stancy Castle, an ancient castle in need of modernization. She commissions a young architect from London, George Somerset, to undertake the work. Somerset falls in love with Paula. But Paula, the Laodicean of the title, meaning a person who is lukewarm or halfhearted, is torn between George's admiration and that of Captain De Stancy, whose old-world romanticism contrasts with Somerset's forward-looking outlook.

  • The Woodlanders | Thomas Hardy

    The Woodlanders

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Thomas Hardy
    • Narrated By Samuel West
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (79)
    Performance
    (66)
    Story
    (65)

    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"
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