Victorian Literature: Under the Greenwood Tree

Under the Greenwood Tree, by Thomas Hardy

This was recommended to me as the book to read if you want to read Hardy, but don't want your heart ripped to shreds and then stomped on. And in fact I'm glad I read it; it's a nice story, sweet but not overly so, and my heart survived intact.

The story concerns a resident of Mellstock village, one Dick Dewy, a young man who is quite ordinary. He falls in love with the village's schoolmistress, Miss Fancy Day--a bit above him on the social scale. The story of their courtship, with its stumbles and blocks, is interesting because they're both ordinary human beings with virtues and flaws. Fancy isn't really quite the angel Dick thinks she is, but we hope she learns from her mistakes.

This is my fourth Victorian book, so I'm done with the "Sense and Sensibility" category! Yay me.


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