'At sight of him had the pink of her cheeks increased, lessened, or did it continue to cover its normal area of ground? It was a question meditated several hundreds of times by her visitor in after-hours - the meditation, after wearying involutions, always ending in one way, that it was impossible to say'
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.
The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.
From Bram Stoker's Whitby to the sprawling country pile that inspired Virginia Woolf's Orlando, this is the definitive staycation travel guide for book lovers.
Thomas Hardy is perhaps one of the most famous English writers of all time, as his books challenged the oppressive Victorian social conventions and as a result he faced much criticism. Here are five of his best books.
They broke boundaries and challenged conceptions. We asked you for your must-read classics; from timeless non-fiction to iconic bestsellers, these are your essential recommends. Books ranked in no particular order. Jump to: 25 | 50 | 75 | 100