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Under the Greenwood Tree

Under the Greenwood Tree by Thomas Hardy
By: (1840-1928)

This novel is subtitled The Mellstock Quire, A Rural Painting of the Dutch School. The Quire is the group of musicians who accompany the hymns at the local church and we follow the fortunes of one member, Dick Dewy, who falls in love with the new school mistress, Fancy Day. Another element of the book is the battle between the traditional musicians of the Quire and the local vicar, Parson Maybold, who installs a church organ. This battle illustrates the developing technology being introduced in the Victorian era and its threat to traditional country ways. The novel was published anonymously in 1872 and is often seen as Thomas Hardy’s most gentle and pastoral novel. In 2005 Under the Greenwood Tree was adapted for a television version by Ashley Pharoah.

First Page:

Transcribed by David Price, email ccx074@coventry.ac.uk from the 1912 Macmillan and Co. edition. Proofed by Margaret Rose Price, Dagny and David Price.

UNDER THE GREENWOOD TREE or THE MELLSTOCK QUIRE A RURAL PAINTING OF THE DUTCH SCHOOL by Thomas Hardy

PREFACE

This story of the Mellstock Quire and its old established west gallery musicians, with some supplementary descriptions of similar officials in Two on a Tower, A Few Crusted Characters, and other places, is intended to be a fairly true picture, at first hand, of the personages, ways, and customs which were common among such orchestral bodies in the villages of fifty or sixty years ago.

One is inclined to regret the displacement of these ecclesiastical bandsmen by an isolated organist (often at first a barrel organist) or harmonium player; and despite certain advantages in point of control and accomplishment which were, no doubt, secured by installing the single artist, the change has tended to stultify the professed aims of the clergy, its direct result being to curtail and extinguish the interest of parishioners in church doings... Continue reading book >>


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Reviews (Rated: 5 Stars - 1 review)

Reviewer: - April 12, 2015
Subject: Recommended
Charming narration


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