Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

Far from the Madding Crowd is perhaps the most pastoral of Hardy's Wessex novels. It tells the story of the young farmer Gabriel Oak and his love for and pursuit of the elusive Bathsheba Everdene, whose wayward nature leads her to both tragedy and true love. It tells of the dashing Sergeant Troy whose rakish philosophy of life was ‘…the past was yesterday; never, the day after’, and lastly, of the introverted and reclusive gentleman farmer, Mr Boldwood, whose love fills him with ‘…a fearful sense of exposure’, when he first sets eyes on Bathsheba. The background of this tale is the Wessex countryside in all its moods, contriving to make it one of the most English of great English novels.

A Scot’s Quair (Sunset Song) by Lewis Grassic Gibbon

Chris Guthrie, torn between her love of the land and her desire to escape the narrow horizons of a peasant culture, is the thread that links these three works. In them, Gibbon interweaves the personal joys and sorrows of Chris' life with the greater historical and political events of the time. Sunset Song, the first and most celebrated book of the trilogy, covers the early years of the twentieth century, including the First World War. Chris survives, with her son Ewan, but the tragedy has struck and her wild spirit subdued.

Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee

About the book This is a vivid memoir of childhood in a remote Cotswold village, a village before electricity or cars, a timeless place on the verge of change. Growing up amongst the fields and woods and characters of the place, Laurie Lee depicts a world that is both immediate and real and belonging to… Continue reading Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee