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The Romantic Adventures of a Milkmaid

Thomas Hardy

Book Overview: 

A milkmaid, Margery, encounters a mysterious foreigner and perhaps prevents him from committing suicide. In gratitude, the man offers her any reward she can name. She tells him she wants to go to a ball. He takes her, admittedly a bit reluctantly, to a yeoman's ball in a neighboring county. From there the story continues because of course, a lot happens after the ball. She happens to already have an engagement to a local lad but his hold over her seems to grow of its own accord. This Hardy story may not end the way you wish, but that is often true of stories by this master writer.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .You do not know all; but your presence was a miraculous intervention.  Now to more cheerful matters.   I have a great deal to tell—that is, if your wish about the ball be still the same?’

‘O yes, sir—if you don’t object.’

‘Never think of my objecting.  What I have found out is something which simplifies matters amazingly.  In addition to your Yeomanry Ball at Exonbury, there is also to be one in the next county about the same time.  This ball is not to be held at the Town Hall of the county-town as usual, but at Lord Toneborough’s, who is colonel of the regiment, and who, I suppose, wishes to please the yeomen because his brother is going to stand for the county.  Now I find I could take you there very well, and the great advantage of that ball over the Yeomanry Ball in this county is, that there you would be absolutely unknown, and I also.  But do you prefer your own . . . Read More

Community Reviews

È in assoluto il primo romanzo di Hardy che leggo. Volevo approcciarmi al suo stile con un romanzo breve e ho provato con questo. Mi è piaciuto e sicuramente leggerò gli altri.
Romanzo brevissimo ma denso d’avvenimenti, scritto bene e molto scorrevole.
Ci sono tutti gli elementi per renderlo interessa

I was told that no work if Thomas Hardy other than ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’ has a happy ending. That remains true for this novel as well. It is a half-happy ending. It is a good read, nevertheless.

Enjoyable writing.

The story is somewhat less likable. I don’t particularly admire any of the characters—-

And yet, I do feel sympathy for them. They’re all liars and fools and driven by selfish desires, but then, they also ultimately do show compassion and love towards others... albeit mixed with sel

This short story was recommended to me by a sweet volunteer woman at Hardy's cottage, which I had the pleasure of visiting this past summer. What an interesting story. It felt almost gothic at times, while the setting and prose were still decidedly Hardy. While there was nothing very noteworthy in t

An enjoyable read.

A poor milkmaid happens upon a well to do gentleman who is about to commit suicide. He promises her one wish when she stops him from killing himself. Like Cinderella, she wants to attend a ball. The Baron buys her clothes, teaches her to dance and escorts her to the ball, burning all her finery afte

3.5 *

Storia di una Cenerentola del Wessex

In un nebuloso mattino di primavera, immersa nel silenzio dell'alba, l'agile figura di una donna, avvolta in uno scialle, percorre la valle dell'Exe, affrettandosi tra i campi con un paniere al braccio.
È con questa immagine, semplice ma pregna delle tipiche s

With its lightness of tone and ridiculous plot this novella is much more in keeping with his short stories than his novels, and indeed I believe it is classed among his short stories. But as such, it is far too long! The interesting and amusing aspects of the story could have been all the more attra

Margery happened upon a strange nobleman at just the moment to calm him from suicidal thoughts. Out of gratitude for this act of kindness, he offered her any gift she would like, and she asked him to take her to a ball. She seemed very sweet at first, but I progressively liked her less as her tepid

A different ending from what you'd expect. I was expecting Margery to run off with Baron Xanter. However, she actually settled down with Jim. I felt very sad about the Baron's death. He was such an interesting character and I wish I'd gotten to know more about him.
However, the absolute control he h

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