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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.

Sybilvimes Sun 07-Apr-13 17:57:02

Definitely Return of the Native. I studied it at a level many many decades ago and I still remember many of the quotes.

Eustasia Vye is a cracking heroine, so much more interesting than poor old Tess. I loved his descriptions of her -

"Her presence brought memories of such things as Bourbon roses, rubies, and tropical midnight"

Sadly not something anyone has ever been able to say of me sad

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Sun 07-Apr-13 17:50:50

LindaMcCartneySausage started reading the Tomalin biography yesterday and am really enjoying it. A totally different view to Robert Gittings. Thank you for the recommendation.

TheChaoGoesMu Thu 21-Mar-13 22:52:13

Tess first, Jude second.

Greenshootsandleeves Thu 21-Mar-13 22:50:07

The Return Of The Native, definitely

thewhistler Thu 21-Mar-13 22:48:40

Wallison, with you in both counts.

I love the beginning of TROR but come from moorland. Do love your descriptive though, Sapeke.

I would find we are too menny even more heart rending if there had not been so many awfulnesses before.

Have to admit I feel Angel Clare should marry Sue as they deserve each other. Hardy does a good line in people I want to slap.

ClaireFromWork Tue 12-Mar-13 18:53:12

Jude. "done because we are too menny" sad. The saddest moment in English literature. Fact.

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Tue 12-Mar-13 18:44:06

Sapeke - that really made me laugh! Sometimes I just read the first chapter for the lovely description! Brilliant synopsis, though!

Sapeke Tue 12-Mar-13 13:46:47

I read Tess aged 18 and loved it so much I didn't want it to end, and it turned out to have one of the worst endings of any book I've ever read. I think if I read it again now (25 years and marriage and kids later) I would want to get stridently feminist with it. I just recently finished Return of the Native, which I wanted to read ever since I saw the film but I'd always struggled to finish the opening chapter. I recommend it, but if you're a bit busy replace chapter one with "Egdon Heath, getting dark" and you're off!

craftycottontail Tue 12-Mar-13 13:10:58

Tess is my favourite, I read it the summer before 6th form in preparation for studying it. My stridently feminist English teacher ripped it apart with us over the next year but it didn't stop me adoring it!

Longtime Tue 12-Mar-13 12:33:16

I only ever read Tess and Jude and found them both so depressing so didn't read anymore of his novels. As a lot of you seem to like these best I don't think they are for me.

Wallison Tue 12-Mar-13 11:47:07

The Return of the Native. Eustacia Vye is just one of the best characters in literature ever. "I have made a bad bargain with life and I am weary of it" - great stuff.

Jude is just too much for me though - the misery is fucking relentless and Sue Bridehead has to be the most annoying woman ever created - vapid, shallow and obsessed with herself.

EmpressMaud Tue 12-Mar-13 11:41:25

Tess and Jude the Obscure, a Pair of Blue Eyes and The Woodlanders, then Return of the Native.

The first I ever read (in my teens) was The Trumpet Major. I book I've liked least has been Hand of Ethelberta.

knackeredmutha Mon 11-Mar-13 19:52:27

We've just done Tess for last book club book, most of us loved it. I read it at school but enjoyed it so much more with a bit of life experience behind me. Jude gave me nightmares. Think my fave is Mayor of Casterbridge, though.

cornypony Mon 11-Mar-13 17:10:41

read MOC at school - may try to read it again. Reading books at school always put me off them!
Love Tess.

gutrot41 Mon 11-Mar-13 17:09:37

Far from the Madding Crowd is just a stunning piece of work! Oh to be able to write like that. I studied it as part of my OU degree. Loved it so much I have recently finished Jude the Obscure, what a sad sad novel.
happy reading!!!!

ggirl Sat 09-Mar-13 19:07:26

God haven't read a Hardy novel since my twenties , definitely Tess and Jude were my favourites.
Must reread them.

CremeEggThief Sat 09-Mar-13 18:54:43

"Tess". Closely followed by "The Mayor of Casterbridge".

threestars Sat 09-Mar-13 18:49:51

Oh I loved Two on a Tower. I also really enjoyed his short stories. For A level we studied The Withered Arm and other stories and I loved reading and rereading and rereading for revision.
Hmm, think I might just pop over to a book website and order it...

Andcake Sat 09-Mar-13 11:21:32

Intellectually Torn between Jude and Tess but in reality if I had to choose the one I love 'return of the native' just for the fabulous description chapters of the main characters. The teenage me just wanted to be the moody petulant mysterious eustacia vye roaming a Heath. Sigh just had to google the 'queen of the night' cheaper and re read it ahh.

Teahouse Sat 09-Mar-13 11:15:25

Read lots of Hardy in my late teens and apart from the absolute basics have forgotten almost everything about them. But last weekend picked up 5 at a charity shop for £ bargain and intend to re-read them after a more than 30 yea gap.

Reading Return of the Native and love it.

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Sat 09-Mar-13 11:12:07

So, have done lots of housework this morning, just about to make a brew and sit down to start Two on a Tower as my reward!

Anyone else reading a Thomas Hardy at the moment?

Linda: I've bought the Tomalin biography, will start it very soon - thank you for the recommendation smile

elly67jo Wed 06-Mar-13 21:29:43

I love Thomas Hardy. FFTMC is my favourite but also thought Jude was incredible.

41notTrendy Fri 01-Mar-13 19:00:08

I recently re-read and enjoyed the Mayor of Casterbridge. Tess is on my list to re-read and FFMC. I once read Two on a tower which I remember loving but that was as a deep teenager. It may not be as good as I remember!

Campaspe Fri 01-Mar-13 18:56:21

Drjohn - yes, his poems are amazing. I love The Five Students. Such a good metaphor for life in general really.

drjohnsonscat Thu 28-Feb-13 21:31:13

Jude. When I got to that bit I thought I had misread it and had to go back and read it again. Just didn't think you could write that sort of thing in books.

Also love a lot of the poems - The Voice is a lovely one.

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