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Under the Greenwood Tree

Thomas Hardy

Book Overview: 

This novel is subtitled The Mellstock Quire, A Rural Painting of the Dutch School. The Quire is the group of musicians who accompany the hymns at the local church and we follow the fortunes of one member, Dick Dewy, who falls in love with the new school mistress, Fancy Day. Another element of the book is the battle between the traditional musicians of the Quire and the local vicar, Parson Maybold, who installs a church organ. This battle illustrates the developing technology being introduced in the Victorian era and its threat to traditional country ways.

Recommended for fans of Nora Roberts, Susan Mallery, Danielle Steel and Sandra Brown.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .The tunes they that morning essayed remained with him for years, apart from all others; also the text; also the appearance of the layer of dust upon the capitals of the piers; that the holly-bough in the chancel archway was hung a little out of the centre—all the ideas, in short, that creep into the mind when reason is only exercising its lowest activity through the eye.

By chance or by fate, another young man who attended Mellstock Church on that Christmas morning had towards the end of the service the same instinctive perception of an interesting presence, in the shape of the same bright maiden, though his emotion reached a far less developed stage.  And there was this difference, too, that the person in question was surprised at his condition, and sedulously endeavoured to reduce himself to his normal state of mind.  He was the young vicar, Mr. Maybold.

The music on Christmas mornings was frequently below the standard of church-performanc. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I've come to accept that I'm the only person of my generation with whom I am personally acquainted that likes Thomas Hardy. It's fine. It's astonishing and amazing to me, but fine. This particular sort of isolation has it's perks, though; I like to think that Tom and I are buddies - you know, sort o

An optimistic Thomas Hardy novel? Is there such a thing?? Published the same month Hardy turned 32, this is, at least as far as I’ve read, the cheeriest of his works — that alone should be a selling point! In some ways it’s an exploration of the changes he saw enveloping England, played out in the c

Hardy’s third novel is about a string band that gets replaced by a sexy female organist. After that, about how the sexy female organist is pursued by three suitors and she chooses the poor, handsome one. How do students write theses on this shit? I have two ornamental degrees and I can’t think up an

Se ha traducido “Bajo la verde fronda” de uno de mis autores preferidos y yo no he podido hacer otra cosa que poner rumbo a Wessex.

Thank you Duane!!!!

Sweet love story....
Great atmosphere....
Gorgeous writing.....
Enjoyed it and look forward to reading Thomas Hardy again!

If you're looking for an enjoyable and relatively quick summer read, I highly recommend Thomas Hardy's Under the Greenwood Tree or The Mellstock Quire: A Rural Painting of the Dutch School. This delightful little novel is one of the more bucolic and pastoral novels I've read in some time, and depict

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