Tess Durbeyfield has become one of the most famous female protagonists in 19th-century British literature. Betrayed by the two men in her life - Alec D’Urberville, her seducer/rapist and father of her fated child; and Angel, her intellectual and pious husband - Tess takes justice, and her own destiny, into her delicate hands. In telling her desperate and passionate story, Hardy brings Tess to life with an extraordinary vividness that makes her live in the heart of the reader long after the novel is concluded.
"Davina Porter Does It Again!"
Read by Juliet Stevenson and Simon Callow, A Literary Christmas is a seasonal anthology that collects together poems, short stories, and prose extracts by some of the greatest poets and writers in the English language. Like Charles Dickens’ ghosts of Christmas Past and Present, they are representative of times old and new - from John Donne’s Elizabethan hymn over the baby Jesus to Rudyard Kipling’s "Christmas in India", from Thomas Tusser counting the cost of a Tudor feast to Laurie Lee’s "Cider with Rosie".
"Wonderful Christmas stories and excerpts!"
In a remote corner of early Victorian England, where traditional practices remain untouched by time, Bathsheba Everdene stands out as a beacon of female independence and self-reliance. However, when confronted with three suitors, among them the dashing Sergeant Troy, she shows a reckless capriciousness that threatens the stability of the whole community. Published in 1874, and an immediate best seller, Far From the Madding Crowd established Thomas Hardy as one of Britain's foremost novelists.
"Country tales and voices."
Eustacia Vye is cut off from the world in her grandfather's lonely cottage. Clym Yeobright seems to offer everything she dreams of: passion, excitement and the opportunity to escape. However, Clym's ambitions are quite different from hers, and marriage only increases Eustacia's destructive restlessness.
"Might Be My Favorite Audiobook of All Time!"
Sexually innocent Jude Fawley is trapped into marriage by seductive Arabella Donn, but their union is an unhappy one and Arabella leaves him. Jude's welcome freedom allows him to pursue his obsession with his pretty cousin Sue Bridehead, a brilliant, charismatic free-thinker who would be his ideal soul-mate if not for her aversion to physical love. When Jude and Sue decide to lead their lives outside marriage they bring down on themselves all the force of a repressive society.
This is the story of a young country workman obsessed by his ambition to become an Oxford student, interwoven with his fraught relationships with two women.
Gabriel Oak is a young shepherd. With the savings of a frugal life and a loan, he has leased and stocked a sheep farm. He falls in love with a newcomer eight years his junior, Bathsheba Everdene, a proud beauty who arrives to live with her aunt, Mrs. Hurst. She comes to like him well enough and even saves his life once, but when he makes her an unadorned offer of marriage, she refuses; she values her independence too much and him too little.
This is the story of Bathsheba Everdene, who inherits her uncle's farm, then surprises the villagers of Weatherbury by deciding to run it herself rather than hire a manager. 3 men vie for the affections of this independent young woman.
"Does Thomas Hardy justice"
The story of Tess, daughter of a poor peddler, is one of heartbreak and sorrow, deception and indecency. When sent to live with a wealthy family, the D'Urbervilles, who are not who they appear to be, Tess endures many hardships and abuse, while trying to make a fortune with the family to whom she believes she is related to. The abuse leads to her getting pregnant by a man named Alec.
Thomas Hardy brings us an England that once existed but no more. It is rural, traditional, pastoral - a society of mannered conduct that flows like a deep river where powerful currents eddy and swirl. In this powerful novel of love and disillusion, Hardy's heroine is torn between the three men in her life. Passionate but capricious, her romantic involvements have fascinated generations of readers.
"respite from the madding crowd"
The fifth volume in CSA Word's massively popular complete and unabridged ‘Short Stories’ collection is bound to please. With something for everyone this collection of classic stories read by only the best-suited and most established readers will delight the ears as a vintage wine excites the gullet; The Vintage Collection is audible gold. Features eye-catching typographical series design.
"Superb Collection and Production"
Cytherea has taken a position as lady's maid to the eccentric Miss Aldclyffe. On discovering that the man she loves is already engaged to his cousin, Cytherea comes under the influence of Miss Aldclyffe's fascinating, manipulative steward Manston. Desperate Remedies contains sensational ingredients of blackmail, murder and romance, but with its insight into psychology and sexuality it already bears the unmistakable imprint of Hardy’s future genius.
When the great Thomas Hardy published this heart-wrenching novel, he had no idea it would be his last. But the book stirred so much controversy and protest, Hardy vowed to never write fiction again. Jude the Obscure tells the story of a stonemason, tricked into a loveless marriage, who craves a formal education and a finer existence. Separated from his wife, Jude begins a new life with his cousin, and the couple defies social convention at every turn.
"A sad and world-changing book"
Set in the Dorset landscape familiar to Hardy novels, The Woodlanders concerns the fortunes of Giles Winterborne, whose love for the well-do-do Grace Melbury is challenged by the arrival of a dashing and dissolute doctor, Edred Fitzpiers. When the mysterious Mrs Charmond further complicates the romantic entanglements, marital choice and class mobility become inextricably linked.
"Thomas Hardy lesser known work"
A haunting collection of strange and macabre short stories, ideal for listening to around the fire on a cold winter evening.... 'The Last Leaf' by O. Henry, 'On the Northern Ice' by Elia W. Peattie, 'The Fire' by Charles John Cutcliffe Hyne, 'The Tiger' by Hugh Walpole, 'Cool Air' by H. P. Lovecraft, 'The Missing Model' by Lettice Galbraith, 'The Cold Embrace' by Mary E. Braddon, 'The Snow' by Hugh Walpole, 'Over an Absinthe Bottle' by W. C. Morrow, 'The Coffin Merchant' by Richard Middleton.
Despite the violent ends of several of its major characters, Far from the Madding Crowd is the sunniest and least brooding of Hardy's great novels. The strong-minded Bathsheba Everdene - and the devoted shepherd, obsessed farmer, and dashing soldier who vie for her favor - move through a beautifully realized late 19th-century agrarian landscape, still almost untouched by the industrial revolution and the encroachment of modern life.
"Wonderful performance that brings new life to this classic"
Michael Henchard gets drunk at a fair and sells his wife and child for five guineas to a sailor. Henchard proves to be violent, selfish, greedy and crude, yet at the same time he is magnanimous and humble.
Thomas Hardy, never one to be conventional, took a very unconventional moral stance in this novel, which shocked readers of the time. In doing so, he created one of the great romantic novels of all time, the story of a striking and tragic heroine who came to life for the reader as she did for the author.
"excellent novel and reading"
Michael Henchard, drunk at a country fair, sells his wife and baby daughter for five guineas. The following day, in despair and remorse, he forswears alcohol and sets out to redeem himself. In time, he becomes a respected merchant and eventually the mayor of the town. But Fate is not to be so easily appeased, and Henchard finds his past actions resonate through and destroy his plans for the future.
Under the Greenwood Tree is an affectionate and youthful portrait of a world Hardy knew well - village life in 'Wessex' - in which a romantic tale is set against changing circumstances. The traditional feature of local music making performed by the village band and choir is challenged by the modern innovation of organ and organist providing music in the church.
"I'm a Hardy fan but..."