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Thomas Hardy - which is your favourite novel?

(52 Posts)
MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Thu 21-Feb-13 15:31:20

Just that, really. I'm aiming to re-read them all over the next year or so, can't decide which I love best, possibly The Woodlanders or Far From The Madding Crowd.

DuchessofMalfi Thu 21-Feb-13 15:52:00

I've only read two - The Mayor of Casterbridge, and Tess of the D'Urbervilles, both when I was at school (and recently listened to Tess on audio book as well). Shameful, as I live in Dorset grin I'm aiming to put that right over the next year or so too. I think I might make Far From the Madding Crowd my next one.

LindaMcCartneySausage Thu 21-Feb-13 16:02:22

Definitely Tess Of The D'Urbervilles. I've also got a soft spot for A Pair Of Blue Eyes.

KindleMum Thu 21-Feb-13 16:10:58

The Mayor of Casterbridge. I think it's a great novel and I still read the old, falling-apart Penguin classic that my long-dead dad gave me. He wrote a birthday message to me on the cover so even when the glue entirely gives up, I'll still keep it.

Quite fond of Tess and Jude too. Not so keen on Far from the Madding Crowd. The other novels are much under-rated in my opinion. Oh, I'm going to have to re-read one now!

MortaIWombat Thu 21-Feb-13 16:11:19

Ooh, me too, Linda. Don't know why it's not better known. smile

BigGiantCowWithAKnockKnockTail Thu 21-Feb-13 16:15:39

I love Tess and my BF's is the Mayor of Casterbridge.
The Woodlanders put me off Hardy for years after reading it in English lessons aged about 14. I'm so glad my grandfather got me back into reading him.

MamaMary Thu 21-Feb-13 16:19:22

Love The Mayor of Casterbridge! I think it's his best. I also like Far from the Madding Crowd.

A Pair of Blue Eyes is quite immature compared to his others - read it recently.

reallytrulydisgusting Thu 21-Feb-13 17:07:00

Love, love, love Far from the Madding Crowd and really wanted to name DD Bathsheba.

Haven't read The Mayor of Casterbridge - will put that on the list.

LindaMcCartneySausage Thu 21-Feb-13 18:17:29

Yes, like the Mayor Of Casterbridge very much too. The Furmity Woman is comedy and Michael Henchard is a fantastic character.

A Pair Of Blue Eyes is quite immature, but lovely too. It's also rather erotic in parts - when Elfride knots her knickers into ropes in the cliff top rescue it's almost Victorian porn grin

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Thu 21-Feb-13 19:05:42

Does anyone like Return of the Native? I think it's one of his best. (wanted to name a son Diggory, but perhaps fortunately didn't have one....)

reallytrully - I love the name Bathsheba!

I read The Hand of Ethelberta recently and liked it, but it wasn't among my favourites.

Parsnipcake Thu 21-Feb-13 19:22:22

The woodlanders and the Mayor of casterbridge are my favourites. I love tess and Jude but they are sooooo melancholy. My dh teaches mayor of casterbridge to his GCSE class every year and makes me go in with a pot of Furmity.

Snazzynewyear Thu 21-Feb-13 19:29:02

The Woodlanders! Possibly my own overall fave although I really like The Return of the Native too.

PaddingtonBearsDuffleCoat Thu 21-Feb-13 19:52:50

I like Return of the Native too despite studying that and Toss of the D'Urbervilles at school. Eustacia Vye is such a feisty heroine, especially compared to drippy Tess.

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Thu 21-Feb-13 21:41:10

Think I'll re-read A Pair of Blue Eyes next then. I haven't read it for years, so can't really remember the plot.

Wolfcub Thu 21-Feb-13 21:43:22

far from the madding crowd is my favourite, I wanted to like jude the obscure but it was just too depressing

madlane Thu 21-Feb-13 22:26:53

Read FFMC at school years ago but overanalysed it (ruin a good book) so mine is Tess (appalling the way women treated). Thank goodness born in West in 20th Century! Clare Tomalin wrote a tome on Thomas Hardy which is intriguing.

LindaMcCartneySausage Fri 22-Feb-13 09:28:20

MiddleageMiddleEngland - It's quite interesting reading the Claire Tomalin biography before or after reading A Pair Of Blue Eyes, because APOBE is a based on Hardy's meeting and early relationship with his wife Emma. The biography is a good read in any case.

just realised I've never read The Woodlanders. I'm off to download it on to the Kindle. You've inspired me.

FFMC is good, Bathsheba has real spirit, but Gabriel Oak and all the dying sheep is so depressing.

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Fri 22-Feb-13 13:00:25

Linda - Thank you, I think I'll get the Tomalin biography. I've got the Robert Gittings one, but hopefully this will be a different slant on TH's life.

Agree about Gabriel Oak's sheep, but at least FFMC does have a relatively happy ending, more so than Tess, Jude or The Woodlanders, anyway.

tumbletumble Fri 22-Feb-13 14:08:47

Tess is my favourite

gailforce1 Fri 22-Feb-13 19:38:24

Read some of Hardy's poetry for A level and loved it. Must have a rummage and see if I still have a copy and re-read.

AgnesBligg Fri 22-Feb-13 19:44:50

hmm, maybe Jude.

NotGoodNotBad Fri 22-Feb-13 20:18:22

Jude the Obscure. Poor guy. sad

bimblebee Thu 28-Feb-13 08:56:46

Tess is my favourite, with The Mayor of Casterbridge a close second. Jude was quite a brave novel of its time but quite depressing!
Hardy also wrote some really good short stories - give Wessex Tales a try before getting into his novels.

DuchessofMalfi Thu 28-Feb-13 11:07:35

I remember studying The Mayor of Casterbridge at school and sobbing my heart out at the end of it grin. I bet it doesn't do that this time when I re-read it! Reckon Jude might though. I'll keep that one for another time. Might be tempted to give Wessex Tales a go. Thanks for the recommendation bimble smile

Campaspe Thu 28-Feb-13 18:59:56

Jude is my favourite "done becos we are too menny", absolutely heartbreaking. I quite like the Native Middleage, but I will confess to skipping the opening, in which Hardy writes a very long description of hte moors.

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