David Herbert Richards Lawrence (1885-1930) is recognized as one of the greatest English novelists, poets, playwrights and short story writers. His works address themes such as emotional health, vitality, spontaneity and instinct, wrapped up in gripping plots which range from the poignant to the downright creepy. "The Horse Dealer's Daughter" is widely thought of as one of Lawrence's finest works.
The descendents of the deceased horse dealer have fallen on hard times and are being evicted from the family stud farm. The three brothers and one sister are sitting around the breakfast table, discussing what each of them will do in the face of their sudden destitution. Only the horse dealer's daughter, Mabel, remains silent. She has made up her mind what to do...but will not communicate with the others.
A visit from Jack Ferguson, the local doctor, shifts the focus to this character. When he returns to his surgery and then sets off for his visiting round, he becomes aware of a lonely, black-clad woman's figure walking resolutely across the fields in the direction of the pond....
Public Domain (P)2015 Red Door Audiobooks
Best of 2016: "We Are Bob: We Are Legion" by Dennis E. Taylor (narrated by Ray Porter).
Although narrator Cathy Dobson, with whom regrettably I am unfamiliar, performs this classic work with a sort of steady, purring cadence that either you will find perfect and soothing or as annoying as the rhythmic groan of an old washing machine determined to slog through just one more load, the story itself is such a beautiful tale of sudden love found in the most unexpected of places, that I suspect that even those who find Ms. Dobson's performance lacking even the tiniest hint of emotional substance, nonetheless will be moved by Lawrence's text. I hope that at very least the latter is the case, for "The Horse Dealer's Daughter" offers one of the truly great artistic insights into the nature of romantic love. And what an ending.
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