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Wessex Tales

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  1,265 Ratings  ·  70 Reviews
In addition to his great "Wessex Novels," Thomas Hardy wrote Wessex Tales (1896), a collection of six stories written in the 1880s and 1890s that, for the most part, are as bleakly ironic and unforgiving as the darkest of his great novels -- Jude the Obscure. But this great novelist began and ended his writing career as a poet. In-between, he wrote a number of books that m ...more
Paperback, 248 pages
Published November 19th 1998 by Oxford University Press (first published 1888)
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Dec 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
By now I think I must have made it fairly obvious that I love Thomas Hardy, and so I was looking forward to my re-reading of this superb collection of Hardy shorter fiction for my on-going Hardy reading challenge.
Wessex Tales contains seven stories, the first two of them really very short – the others considerably longer. In this collection Hardy explored familiar themes of marriage and rural life that we see in his novels, but he also experiments rather in a supernatural tale, ‘The Withered Ar
Katie Lumsden
Nov 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A ready enjoyable read - a lot of great stories, and some quite different to other Hardy works, more influenced by the gothic, etc. I especially loved the story 'An Imaginative Woman'.
Many years ago we visited Thomas Hardy country in Dorset, England and I bought Wessex Tales, seven short stories that Hardy wrote about his native county. The book holds special memories for me of the summer day that we visited the cottage where Hardy was born in 1840 in Higher Bockhampton, Dorset, and where he wrote Under the Greenwood Tree and Far From the Madding Crowd. For me it was a literary pilgrimage to the shrine of one of my favorite authors.

Hardy fictionalized Dorset County as Wessex
Jul 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me a long time to read Hardy, I guess there is a fear of approaching a great novelist. These short stories are an ideal introduction, after reading these I was inspired to read "Tess of the D'Ubervilles" and I am currently reading "The Return of the Native". Hardy is like the rural equivalent of Dickens, exposing the inequalities of the Victorian Countryside just as Dickens was exposing the inequalities in Victorian London. Hardy's tales are set in Wessex which loosely corresponds with D ...more
Elizabeth (Alaska)
Not all editions of Wessex Tales are created equal. It was first published in 1888 with 5 stories. A new edition was published in 1896, which included a new story "An Imaginative Woman." There was one more edition in 1912 which included the core five stories, but seemingly played musical chairs with others.

I have been reading Hardy on my Kindle (Complete Works of Thomas Hardy) which included the 1896 edition. I'm so glad for that, else I would have missed that added story, which was one of my f
In the first place, I love Thomas Hardy so the fact I would like his Wessex Tales is a given.
Hardy also shows his versatility in depicting the lives of every day people, the poor and the rich, a supernatural tale, a story about smuggling and smugglers and a potential love affair gone awry.
Hardy was also recording legends and customs of his native Dorset.
For me, at least, it was just fun to "go home" and listen to the music of the language.
Nov 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes I tire of reading a short story anthology because you get into a story, and then it ends, and then you have to meet a new set of characters, etc. However, for anyone who reads a lot of Hardy, some of these stories were expanded to be included as scenes of some of his novels, and I thought it was fun to examine them under that light.
May 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Realmente me gusta muchísimo la narrativa de Thomas Hardy, ya sean cuentos o novelas.
Me encanta.
Maneja con total maestría las descripciones, las presentaciones de los personajes y el desarrollo de las tramas expuestas en cada uno de sus libros y relatos.

Me encanta.
Lo había dicho..?
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Riveting stories.
Mar 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thomas Hardy has more and more impressed me as I have, late in life, reread “The Return of the Native,” and read for the first time “The Mayor of Casterbridge” and “Tess of the D’Ubervilles.” All of these novels take place in the southwest part of England that Hardy called “Wessex.”
Hardy is less known for his short stories, but I found that the seven short stories in his “Wessex Tales,” published in 1886, achieve the same high standard of his famous novels. They use his same intimate knowledge
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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 fascination 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 cha ...more
More about Thomas Hardy...
“Is it necessary to add that the echoes of many characteristic tales, dating from that picturesque time, still linger about here, in more or less fragmentary form to be caught by the attentive ear? Some of them I have repeated; most of them I have forgotten; one I have never repeated, and assuredly can never forget.” 2 likes
“She always said that the one feature in his proposal which overcame her hesitation was the obvious purity and straightforwardness of his intentions. He showed himself to be so virtuous and kind: he treated her with a respect to which she had never before been accustomed; and she was braced to the obvious risks of the voyage by her confidence in him.” 2 likes
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