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'Under the Greenwood Tree' is a tale of love, tragedy and the changing charm of traditional village life when it is met with the cold reality of modernity.
Centring on the quaint rural village of Mellstock, set deep within Hardy's imagined and picturesque county of Wessex, the novel revolves around a double plot of the hopeful love story of Dick Dewey and Fancy Day and the tragic demise of the Mellstock Choir, and what the crumbling of long-held traditions means to the local community. The arrival of Mr Maybold, a new vicar with newfangled ideas, unsettles the local community with ideas of revolutionary change, in which the church and its generations-old choir are an anchor.
Considered one of Hardy's most upbeat and optimistic novels, 'Under the Greenwood Tree' explores issues of past and future, hope and love, and is a delightful addition to the Collins' canon of Thomas Hardy's classic novels.