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Hardy's Fables of IntegrityWoman, Body, Text$
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Marjorie Garson

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780198122234

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198122234.001.0001

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Under the Greenwood Tree:

Under the Greenwood Tree:

6 United ‘ooman’

(p.6) 1 Under the Greenwood Tree:
Hardy's Fables of Integrity

Marjorie Garson

Oxford University Press

In his comments in the Author's Preface in Under the Greenwood Tree, Hardy points out that the titles of the novel demonstrate a dualism. The final title as its subtitle — A Rural Painting of the Dutch School — illustrate how the novel maintains a pastoral identity. The book's original title, The Mellstock Choir suggests that pastoralism has limits since the main subject of this narrative is about the extinction of the choir. The ideals of the traditional pastoral are qualified through how Hardy set them against the 1840s world of Dorset. This world was characterized with time, death, courtship, and marriage; and the dream of a classical golden age was portrayed much through the syllogistic discussion of honey-taking.

Keywords:   honey-taking, Under the Greenwood Tree, pastoral identity, The Mellstock Choir, golden age

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