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The Woodlanders

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  10,209 Ratings  ·  298 Reviews
The Woodlanders (1887) was Thomas Hardy's own favorite among his stories, and no other book of his more fully represents the many sides of his genius. This portrait of five people in an English village who are tangled in a drama of passion, betrayal, poverty, and pride of place richly demonstrates all of Hardy's distinguishing qualities—his intimacy with rural England, his ...more
Hardcover, 420 pages
Published June 9th 1998 by Everyman's Library (first published 1887)
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César Lasso
Jan 31, 2016 César Lasso rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: brit-lit
¡Qué bueno es este difunto escritor de otros tiempos! Su descripción de la naturaleza es minuciosa y desapasionada, acompañando los matices de la putrefacción de las hojas caídas durante el otoño y el invierno, y el despertar de la vida en la primavera. Una primavera con pájaros, pero esencialmente vegetal. Y los hombres y mujeres que viven en ella.

Al acabar este libro, me doy cuenta de todo lo que me falta por saber de literatura británica. Quítame la novela gótica y los poetas románticos, y mi
...more
Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.)
Sep 25, 2015 Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) by: lonebearimages@gmail.com
Update--May 7, 2011: I took Hardy's The Woodlanders with me on a recent week-long camping trip to Yosemite National Park, and re-read it while there. It was truly wonderful to sit in some of the most idyllic natural locations in all of the world and read this most amazing novel. If anything, I got even more from the novel this second time through, and highly recommend The Woodlanders to fans of the fiction and poetry of Thomas Hardy.

***

I am continuing on with my summer of reading the written wor
...more
Sandra
Jan 03, 2016 Sandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gran-bretagna
Thomas Hardy è uno scrittore che non conoscevo, forse sottovalutato, in Italia soprattutto. Scrisse nell’età vittoriana e i suoi libri contengono aspre critiche alla società del suo tempo. Come questo romanzo, Nel bosco, che, narrando una storia d’amore (infelice) tra Grace Melbury, figlia di un commerciante di legname, e Giles Winterborne, un giovane che vive nel villaggio di Hintock, ai margini di una distesa di boschi cui seguono ampi campi coltivati a meli, inserisce all’interno di splendide ...more
Alicia
Oct 03, 2011 Alicia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Apparently, this is Thomas Hardy's favorite of all the novels he wrote.

My order of Thomas Hardy favorites is:

MOST FAVORITE: Far From the Madding Crowd
Tess of the D'Urbervilles
Return of the Native
The Woodlanders
Under the Greenwood Tree
Two in a Tower
A Pair of Blue Eyes
Mayor of Casterbridge
The Well-Beloved
LEAST FAVORITE: Jude the Obscure (way too tragic for me)

My 18-year-old son also loves Tess of the D'Urbervilles and took it to BYU with him in his suitcase, one of 3 novels he took with him to co
...more
Laura
Feb 09, 2012 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura by: Christopher
Another magnificent masterpiece by Thomas Hardy.

This is the story of 4 people who lived in Blackmoor Vale.

Grace Melbury falls in love with Giles Winterborne. However, his father George Melbury found that his daughter is more appropriate to be engaged instead to Edred Fitzpiers, a handsome and young doctor in Little Hintock. In the meantime, Edred falls in love with Felice Charmond. And then, their lives become inextricably intertwined.

The movie based on this classic book The Woodlanders (1997) d
...more
Craig
Jan 08, 2013 Craig rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics-british
You can’t be lily-livered and read Thomas Hardy. You have to have grit. This is equally true of The Woodlanders, written by Hardy in 1887 as one in the series of his Wessex novels. The Woodlanders is a “Gatsby-esk” look at class distinctions; how the privileged class invariably and uncaringly run rough shod over the lower and middle class – in this case in mid-19th Century England. Fitzgerald’s book followed some 38 years later and dealt with the same issue on American soil.

Giles Winterborne (t
...more
Ali
Mar 08, 2013 Ali rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Woodlanders is the latest read in my on-going Hardy challenge. Several friends and I have been reading (or re-reading in my case) all of Hardy’s fiction in chronological order. I’m not sure why this is only the second time I’ve read The Woodlanders, as I remember been mesmerised by it when I was eighteen. I can remember clearly where I was when I read it – and despite always meaning to, I never managed to get around to re-reading it in the intervening years. I am so glad I left it until now, ...more
Magrat Ajostiernos
Nov 14, 2015 Magrat Ajostiernos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: clásico, 2015
3,5/5

Todavía no tengo claro hasta qué punto me ha gustado este libro...
Por una parte he disfrutado muchísimo de la prosa de Hardy, de ese bosque omnipresente y del transfondo moral/social, pero por otro lado no he llegado a empatizar con ningún personaje ni implicarme verdaderamente en la trama...
Aún así, una lectura deliciosa.
Rosalind
May 30, 2009 Rosalind rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Every bit as lovely as I remembered it. My view of this as my favourite Hardy is only confirmed, even if my recent splurge of rapid reading slowed down dramatically as I was reading it. The first two thirds took a couple of days, the remainder has been spun over two weeks simply because of time pressures and because this is a book that demands not to be read superficially in small doses, but needs to wait for time to be allocated to it.

It's less melodramatic than some of Hardy's better-known no
...more
Paula
Aug 24, 2007 Paula rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: british lit fans
So I read this book because I love Hardy's work--Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Jude the Obscure, and Far from the Madding Crowd. The Woodlanders isn't as famous as these three.

It's interesting to read Hardy and D.H. Lawrence together. Both focus on themes of marital/sexual alienation, discovery, and rebellion, and have great sympathy for women. Both were also poets, and Hardy went so far as to shun novel-writing for poetry later in his life, believing many of his novels, because they were serializ
...more
La Stamberga dei Lettori
L'ho detto e lo ripeto: Thomas Hardy meriterebbe una fama maggiore nel nostro paese, dove in pochi lo conoscono e, fra questi pochi, un esiguo numero ha letto qualcosa di diverso da Tess. Per questo apprezzo particolarmente la decisione della casa editrice Fazi di riportare in libreria Nel bosco, una delle opere meno conosciute, in una nuova moderna edizione la cui copertina è particolarmente adatta a rappresentare l'atmosfera bucolica che è parte integrante del romanzo.

Pur facendo parte dei ro
...more
Edward
Jan 01, 2015 Edward rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Acknowledgements
General Editor's Preface
Chronology: Hardy's Life and Works
Map: The Wessex of the Novels
Bibliographical Note
Introduction
Further Reading
A Note on the History of the Text


--The Woodlanders

Appendix I: 1895 Preface; 1912 Postscript
Appendix II: The Location of 'The Woodlanders'
Appendix III: The Law, Marriage and Divorce in 'The Woodlanders'
Notes
Glossary
Marina Cavallo
Oct 27, 2015 Marina Cavallo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stupendo! Il primo romanzo che leggo di questo autore,e non mi ha affatto deluso! La trama non è intricata,ma propone 2 o 3 situazioni davvero "complicate" a livello emotivo. Spesso mi sono messa nei panni dei personaggi,chiedendomi come avrei reagito a certe scene direi quasi "assurdamente realistiche",frutto di coincidenze che in effetti possono sempre avverarsi anche nella vita di tutto i giorni. Il "sentire"dei personaggi è altrettanto realistico,e trova riscontro nella mia sensibilità come ...more
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
Throughout this novel I was taken by the way Hardy visualises scenes either through subjective viewpoints, showing us what specific characters see, or choose to see, or from the eye of the omniscient observer, the author. Some of my favorite novelists - Graham Greene is another example - excel in the art of sequencing, chosing the most telling scene to establish theme, character and setting and advance plot. Hardy displays a similar knack here, with each episode bearing its own strength and unit ...more
Ann Litz
Feb 15, 2016 Ann Litz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the joys of reading an early book by an author famous for later works is recognizing the intimations of the greater novels in the lesser. In this sense Woodlanders is a lavishly illustrated seed-catalog of Hardy classics.

The novel begins with one of the most desolate passages in literature, and one that succintly summarizes the novel’s theme of happiness just out of reach:

“The physiognomy of a deserted highway expresses solitude to a degree that is not reached by mere dales or downs, and
...more
Isa-janis
Jun 27, 2015 Isa-janis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jo, que historia tan triste... Se nota que Hardy era un ilustrado, porque su obra rezuma de inteligencia, buen hacer y muchas alusiones a la literatura y la religión.
Joseph Rice
Jul 06, 2015 Joseph Rice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If it's a Thomas Hardy novel, it's a tragedy. *sad face*

I was first exposed to Hardy in high school, being assigned Jude the Obscure for AP English. Entering the Navy, I was determined to continue to read, read, read, both -brow high and low, and eventually made my way through Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Return of the Native, The Mayor of Casterbridge and Far from the Madding Crowd. The Woodlanders was never on my radar, though, and it wasn't until I went on a "free for Kindle" purchasing binge,
...more
Alicia
Oct 03, 2011 Alicia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was Thomas Hardy's favorite of all his novels. This wasn't my favorite storyline/ending, but I loved the writing and descriptions of nature. I loved getting lost in this book and feeling like I was there among the apple trees in the little English village with the woodlanders. This book teaches a valuable lesson that would benefit teenagers today: The heroine decides not to marry the hard-working, devoted boy-next-door. Instead, she marries a handsome doctor with higher social status. She s ...more
Ben Babcock
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Christina Dudley
Sep 03, 2012 Christina Dudley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another beautiful Hardy read, and--not to give any spoilers--a comparative frolic. Not as skippy-happy (for Hardy) as Far from the Madding Crowd, to be sure, but not such a downer as Jude the Obscure.

Lovely Grace Melbury is educated above her humble family's station in the woodlands of Little Hintock, making her too good in her father's opinion (and occasionally her own) for her childhood friend and sweetheart Giles Winterborne. Grace then comes to the attention of the fascinating dilettantish d
...more
Bruce
Jan 10, 2015 Bruce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Roni Roshni
Jan 17, 2011 Roni Roshni rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book well enough.Though not Hardy's finest.I felt good at the end.As usual Hardy killed someone important.Surprisingly that didn't hurt at all.The beautiful scenery of Little Hintock was brought alive and it was so enlivening to read about the woodlands.A gem for all his lovers as it has somewhat an ominous ending and the writing is enchanting.
Louise Beilby
Sep 05, 2014 Louise Beilby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Familiar ground for any fan of Hardy - people marrying above their station, extra-marital affairs, thwarted ambition, dishonest middle-class types oppressing honest working-class types, people leading frustrated and miserable lives... and, for a bit of variety, man-traps.

I am not entirely sure why I love Hardy so much considering how depressing many of his books are. Perhaps it's because his prose and dialogue comes across as so much more "modern" than that of someone like, say, Dickens, or Wilk
...more
Nimbex
Mar 10, 2015 Nimbex rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
No me ha gustado tanto como Lejos del mundanal ruido pero con eso no quiero decir que Los habitantes del bosque sea peor libro, en un sentido podría incluso decirse que es mejor ya que contiene mucha más crítica social. Sin embargo los personajes no me han caído tan bien, el conformismo de la protagonista me ha exasperado un poco (aunque lo cierto es que así era la situación de la mujer en aquella época) y en algunas partes se me ha hecho un poco lento. A pesar de todo creo que es un muy buen li ...more
Benjamin
Aug 24, 2014 Benjamin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Deep in the woods, in a dying village cut off from civilization... Hardy at the helm... I thought this was going to be relentlessly dark, and it does have people trapped in loveless marriages (turns out 19th Century divorce laws were like, if the woman cheats, the man can dump her, but if the man cheats, then she can't divorce him unless she can prove cruelty or abandonment.) Also, what would a Victorian novel be without a good guy suffering a chronic respiratory disease? Yet, I thought this was ...more
Kelly-Louise
Mar 15, 2016 Kelly-Louise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, favorites
A few years back I had my husband sit down and watch "The Mayor of Casterbridge" DVD with me. At the end he turned to me and said, "What? It can't end like that!" I smiled and said, "It's Thomas Hardy."

When you read a Hardy book, you must brace yourself for the tragedy. (The added benefit of this is that when you read one that does have a happy ending, it will come as a pleasant surprise!) Even though I'd never read this book before, and I didn't know what exactly was about to happen, throughou
...more
K.
May 20, 2014 K. rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Thought I'd try out Mr. Hardy again, it's been a while. At times, he is delightful. At times he is melodramatic and morose. Sometimes he's in-between. I love him delightful, I can appreciate him in the middle, I just nearly gag when he's wallowing in morbidity . Sadly, this book, at least the 36% I read of it, anyway, fits in the latter category. I knew that could be the case and went into this book with eyes wide open. I'm not averse to the characters or story so far, as much as apathetic. But, ...more
Corinna
Hardy often reduces me to tears either by virtue of how lovingly he describes his chosen settings or through allowing some awful fate befall his most beloved protagonists. The Woodlanders was no exception; although,it didn't hit me as hard as Jude the Obscure did. I'll be honest: the more tragic, the better. I adore being emotionally battered by Hardy. No one is left fulfilled by the story, least of all its most pitiful character, Marty South, whom we encounter in the first pages of the novel.

A
...more
Laura
Nov 05, 2010 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have a thing for Thomas Hardy. Maybe my husband should be worried.
Normally mothers have to take the blame for everything, but this novel is about a father and his love for his daughter. It compels him to give her a good education at a finishing school: when the girl returns to her hometown there is nowhere for her to show her accomplishments or use her skills. It also makes her grow apart from her childhood sweetheart, the man her dad would like her to marry. This is the paradox at the heart o
...more
Donald
Aug 23, 2013 Donald rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Scholars might not put The Woodlanders up as one of Hardy's masterpieces, but by the author's own admission, it was his favorite. Little Hintock is the tiniest of communities surrounded by woodlands. All but two of the characters were born and raised living, breathing, working, and making a living off the woods and the apple trees. Grace Melbury has this in her blood, but her father wants more for her and so has sent her off to become an educated lady. Upon her return, these two conflicting ways ...more
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Thomas Hardy, OM, was an English author of the naturalist movement, although in several poems he displays elements of the previous romantic and enlightenment periods of literature, such as his facination with the supernatural. He regarded himself primarily as a poet and composed novels mainly for financial gain. The bulk of his work, set mainly in the semi-fictional land of Wessex, delineates char ...more
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“He Looked and smelt like Autumn's very brother, his face being sunburnt to wheat-colour, his eyes blue as corn-flowers, his sleeves and leggings dyed with fruit-stains, his hands clammy with the sweet juice of apples, his hat sprinkled with pips, and everywhere about him the sweet atmosphere of cider which at its first return each season has such an indescribable fascination for those who have been born and bred among the orchards.” 14 likes
“...Nameless, unknown to me as you were, I couldn't forget your voice!'
'For how long?'
'O - ever so long. Days and days.'
'Days and days! Only days and days? O, the heart of a man! Days and days!'
'But, my dear madam, I had not known you more than a day or two. It was not a full-blown love - it was the merest bud - red, fresh, vivid, but small. It was a colossal passion in embryo. It never returned.”
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