Archives

The Woodlanders

The story takes place in a small woodland village called Little Hintock, and concerns the efforts of an honest woodsman, Giles Winterborne, to marry his childhood sweetheart, Grace Melbury. Although they have been informally betrothed for some time, her father has made financial sacrifices to give his adored only child a superior education and no […]


Genre: Fiction, Romance

The Trumpet-Major

Hardy distrusted the application of nineteenth-century empiricism to history because he felt it marginalized important human elements. In The Trumpet Major, the tale of a woman courted by three competing suitors during the Napoleonic wars, he explores the subversive effects of ordinary human desire and conflicting loyalties on systematized versions of history. Genre: Fiction, Historical, […]


Genre: Fiction, Historical, Romance, War & Military

The Hand of Ethelberta

At the beginning of the book, we are told that Ethelberta was raised in humble circumstances but, through her work as a governess, married well at the age of eighteen. Her husband died two weeks after the wedding and, now twenty-one, Ethelberta lives with her mother-in-law, Lady Petherwin. In the three years that have elapsed […]


Genre: Fiction, Humor

A Pair of Blue Eyes

Elfride finds herself caught in a battle between her heart, her mind and the expectations of her parents and society. The novel is notable for the strong parallels to Hardy and his first wife Emma Gifford. When Elfride’s father finds that his guest and candidate for his daughter’s hand, architect’s assistant Stephen Smith, is the […]


Genre: Fiction, Romance

Far from the Madding Crowd

Far from the Madding Crowd was the first of Hardy’s novels to apply the name of Wessex to the landscape of south-west England, and the first to gain him widespread popularity as a novelist. When the beautiful and spirited Bathsheba Everdene inherits her own farm, she attracts three very different suitors; the seemingly commonplace man-of-the-soil […]


Genre: Fiction, Romance

Tess of the d’Urbervilles

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 […]


Genre: Fiction, Romance

The Mayor of Casterbridge

The Mayor of Casterbridge opens with a shocking and haunting scene: In a drunken rage, Michael Henchard sells his wife and daughter to a visiting sailor at a local fair. When they return to Casterbridge some nineteen years later, Henchard—having gained power and success as the mayor—finds he cannot erase the past or the guilt […]


Genre: Fiction