288 pages, 7.75 × 5.15 × 0.65 in
October 23, 1998
Penguin Publishing Group
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0140435530
ISBN - 13: 9780140435535
From the Publisher
The arrival of two newcomers in the quiet village of Mellstock arouses a bitter feud and leaves a convoluted love affair in its wake. While the Reverend Maybold creates a furore among the village's musicians with his decision to abolish the church's traditional "string choir" and replace it with a modern mechanical organ, the new schoolteacher, Fancy Day, causes an upheaval of a more romantic nature, winning the hearts of three very different men—a local farmer, a church musician and Maybold himself. Under the Greenwood Tree follows the ensuing maze of intrigue and passion with gentle humour and sympathy, deftly evoking the richness of village life, yet tinged with melancholy for a rural world that Hardy saw fast disappearing.
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About the Author
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) immortalized the site of his birth—Egdon Heath, in Dorset, near Dorchester—in his writing. Delicate as a child, he was taught at home by his mother before he attended grammar school. At sixteen, Hardy was apprenticed to an architect, and for many years, architecture was his profession; in his spare time, he pursued his first and last literary love, poetry. Finally convinced that he could earn his living as an author, he retired from architecture, married, and devoted himself to writing. An extremely productive novelist, Hardy published an important book every year or two. In 1896, disturbed by the public outcry over the unconventional subjects of his two greatest novels—Tess of the D’Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure—he announced that he was giving up fiction and afterward produced only poetry. In later years, he received many honors. He was buried in Poet’s Corner, in Westminster Abbey. It was as a poet that he wished to be remembered, but today critics regard his novels as his most memorable contribution to English literature for their psychological insight, decisive delineation of character, and profound presentation of tragedy.
Patricia Ingham is a Senior Research Fellow and Reader at St Anne's College, Oxford. She has written on the Victorian novel and on Hardy in particular. she is the General Editor of all of Hardy's fiction in the Penguin Classics and has edited Gaskell's North and South for the series.
From Our Editors
Considered the most flawless of his novels, Under The Greenwood Tree is also Thomas Hardy’s homage to the pre-industrial England of his childhood. In it, Dick Dewy and Fancy Day find love despite the problems and effects of impending modernization. Outwardly sunny and optimistic, the novel’s underlying theme is based in Hardy’s reluctance to accept change and modern idealism.