A Reader's Guide to Unfamiliar Literature
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A Good Place To Start

TitleVotes 
Far From the Madding Crowd 2
Tess of the D'Urbervilles 2
The Mayor of Casterbridge 1
Fellow-Townsmen 1

A Bad Place To Start

TitleVotes 
Tess of the D'Urbervilles 1
Jude the Obscure 1
Wessex Tales 1

Genres

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Categorization is odious. There is tremendous overlap among genres. These pigeonholes are offered only as a convenience.

Thomas Hardy (1840 - 1928)

added by Ms. Baker

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Please consider recommending where to begin reading this author, or where not to. A few words about your experiences reading this author and why you make the recommendations you do will be helpful to other users. If you are the author or have studied this author extensively, please say so.

Hesperus Press March 16th, 2007 06:40 AM PST

The novella 'Fellow-Townsmen' serves as the perfect short introduction to the themes of Hardy's more lengthy works. It takes as its central concern a consideration of the respective influences of accident and destiny in sealing our fates; this preoccupation is echoed throughout Hardy's work, as for example in the maxim in the major work 'The Mayor of Casterbridge' that 'Character is Fate'.

This novella is both immensely readable and ideal preparation for Hardy's longer works.

Biography

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Hardy, Thomas, 1840-1928, English novelist and poet, b. near Dorchester, one of the great English writers of the 19th cent.

The son of a stonemason, he derived a love of music from his father and a devotion to literature from his mother. Hardy could not afford to pursue a scholarly career as he wished and was apprenticed to John Hicks, a local church architect. He continued, however, to study the Greek and Latin classics. From 1862 to 1867 he served as assistant to Arthur Blomfield, a London architect; ill health forced him to return to Dorset, where he worked for Hicks and his successor until 1874.

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