‘If ever I forget your name let me forget home and heaven…But no, no, my love, I never can forget’ee; for you was a good man, and did good things!’ Love, and the erratic heart, are at the centre 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 Woodlanders based on a comprehensive study of the manuscript and incorporating later revisions.
- Oxford University Press