The Readers Review: Literature from 1714 to 1910 discussion

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Book Recommendations > "Two on a Tower" by Thomas Hardy

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Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
I just finished reading one of Thomas Hardy's lesser known novels, Two on a Tower. This was a terrific novel with an excellent and engaging plot. I have just finished posting my review of the book here. If you're interested in astronomy, and love a good romance, this novel is for you! I highly recommend Two on a Tower. Cheers! Chris


message 2: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments Is it too romantic for an old cynic like me Christopher? Will I be able to lose myself in the astronomy and other Hardyness and pass over the sloppy stuff? I bet Sally Shuttleworth's Foreword is good. (Amazon.uk and US have it.)


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
MadgeUK wrote: "Is it too romantic for an old cynic like me Christopher? Will I be able to lose myself in the astronomy and other Hardyness and pass over the sloppy stuff? I bet Sally Shuttleworth's Foreword is ..."

No, Madge, I surmise that it is not too sappy for you (it is a Hardy, after all;-). You'll love the descriptions of the landscape and the astronomy sections are simply fascinating. You are ever so correct about Sally Shuttleworth's 'Introduction' too; it is superb. I am finding that I love the scholarly criticism associated with Hardy's writings as much as I love the old fellow's novels, stories, and poetry. I think you'd enjoy this book quite a lot, Madge.


message 4: by Grace Tjan (new)

Grace Tjan Chris, do you think that there is a noticeable difference in quality between Hardy's more famous novels and his lesser known ones (like this one)? *curious*


message 5: by Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.), Founder (last edited Sep 02, 2010 11:34AM) (new)

Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
Sandybanks wrote: "Chris, do you think that there is a noticeable difference in quality between Hardy's more famous novels and his lesser known ones (like this one)? *curious*"

Quite frankly, Sandy, not one bit.

This novel (TOAT) was written between his much more well known The Return of the Native and the later The Mayor of Casterbridge. In my opinion, it shares a sophisticated plot like its more well known siblings, and I felt that the plotting and character development was largely on par with his popular works. To account for its position in Hardy's canon, it may be that the astronomical theme was a bit off-putting, or that it is too tightly focused on just the two primary characters, Swithin St. Cleeve and Lady Constantine.

A very interesting question, Sandy, and one that I shall continue to ponder.


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