Love and the erratic heart are at the center of Hardy's "woodland story." Set in the beautiful Blackmoor Vale, The Woodlanders
concerns the fortunes of Giles Winterborne, whose love for the well-to-do Grace Melbury is challenged by the arrival of the dashing and dissolute doctor, Edred Fitzpiers. When the mysterious Felice Charmond further complicates the romantic entanglements, marital choice and class mobility become inextricably linked. Hardy's powerful novel depicts individuals in thrall to desire and the natural law that motivates them.
This is the only critical edition of the novel, which was Hardy's own favorite "as a story," that is based on a comprehensive study of the manuscript and incorporates later revisions. The new introduction by Penny Boumelha considers the novel in the context of Hardy's career, the characters' relationships with one another, the role of destiny and individual choice, narrative perspective, and the community. This edition also contains a new and up-to-date bibliography and a new chronology. About the Series:
For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics
has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
About the Author
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), English poet, dramatist, and novelist, was born on the Egdon Heath in Dorset. He studied in Dorchester and apprenticed to an architect before leaving for London, where he began to write. Unable to find a public for his poetry, which idealized the rural life, he turned to the novel and met with success as well as controversy. The strong public reaction against some of his darker themes turned him back to writing verse. Today several of his novels are considered masterpieces of tragedy.
Penny Boumelha, FAHA, holds an Adjunct Professorship at the University of Adelaide, where, until 2008, she was the Jury Professor of English Language and Literature. Professor Boumelha was the inaugural Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Education there until 2007. She is also an Emeritus Professor at Victoria University of Wellington, where she was Vice-Chancellor (Academic) from 2009 to 2014.