Thomas Hardy's "The Woodlanders" was first published serially in 1887. The tale takes place in the woodland village of Little Hintock and is centers around the romantic dramas of its inhabitants. The story begins with Giles Winterborne, an honest woodsman, who wishes to marry his childhood sweetheart, Grace Melbury. While the two have been informally betrothed to each other since they were young, Grace gains an education through her father's persistent financial sacrifices and Mr. Melbury now feels that his daughter is too good for a simple woodsman. He pushes Grace into the direction of another suitor, a handsome new doctor, with disastrous consequences for all concerned. Set in a rustic, evocative small town with well-crafted and painfully human characters, "The Woodlanders" is rich with the themes found in many of Hardy's most memorable works: unrequited love, social class mobility, and cruelly unfair legal and social restrictions on people's private lives. A classic novel of longing and regret, "The Woodlanders" is a worthy addition to the timeless works of Thomas Hardy and fans of the author will enjoy this somber and tragic tale. This edition includes a biographical afterword.
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