THOMAS HARDY: The Woodlanders

(A Critical Study)
by S.S. Agarwalla

pp.: 220

Price: Rs. 70.00
ISBN 978-81-7977-384-0

When Thomas Hardy wrote The Woodlanders and got it published in 1887, he evidently thought of it as a radical and ambitious piece of work. But, when he came to revise his work for the Wessex Edition of 1912, he wrote that he liked The Woodlanders, “as a story, the best of all” partly because he was fond of location, partly because it seemed quaint and fresh. A quaint story of woodland life or a contemporary sexual mores? The burden of interpretation is thrown on us. The account given of love in it is atypical of Hardy’s work only in that there is less emphasis here on its possible joyousness. In The Woodlanders the emphasis falls entirely on the pain of struggle. In other novels Hardy suggests that the abundance of nature has both a positive and a negative aspect.

Dr. Shyam S. Agarwalla (born 1943) lectured at ST. Xavier’s College and Marwari College, Ranchi, till 1984. After that, he was appointed Principal, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia College. He has now retired. He has written /edited fourteen books. He has edited Julius Caesar and The Merchant of Venice, and African Fiction and African Drama and Poetry (Prestige Books, New Delhi). He has been awarded seventy-five thousand rupees for writing Religion and Caste by Central Minority Commission and Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi, both. He has written a critical study on Seth’s A Suitable Boy, The first of its kind in India, which has been mentioned in American Library Catalogue in 1995. He has contributed more than fifty research papers on British and Indian writing in English in journals and books. He has written 20 articles for newspapers on contemporary politics.


1. Introduction to Thomas Hardy and his Art
2. Persons of the Novel
3. An outline of the story of The Woodlanders
4. Critical appreciation of The Woodlanders
5. Characters
6. A detailed study of the chapters with important explanations
7. Critical Questions & Answers

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