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Thomas Hardy was born in 1840 in Dorchester, Dorset. He enrolled as a student in King s College, London, but never felt at ease there, seeing himself as socially inferior. This preoccupation with society, particularly the declining rural society, featured heavily in Hardy s novels, with many of his stories set in the fictional county of Wessex. Since his death in 1928, Hardy has been recognised as a significant poet, influencing The Movement poets in the 1950s and 1960s.Review:
Among the great Victorian novelists, only Hardy and Dickens consistently addressed issues of class. Narrator Nicholas Rowe gives a clear portrayal of the accents and diction of various classes, ranging from rural servants to King George III. It's sometimes hard to distinguish the three major female characters' voices, but the men are clear and distinctive. Those who aren't familiar with the story's historical context Hardy's Wessex from the Napoleonic Wars to the beginning of the Peninsular Campaign may take a chapter or two to get the spirit of the times. But then these people of the working classes and lower gentry will come to life. It's not Hardy's best, but it's still a worthwhile listen. D.M.H. © AudioFile 2017, Portland, Maine --D.M.H. © AudioFile 2017, Portland, Maine
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