Thomas Hardy: Under the Greenwood Tree

(2558 words)

The title of Thomas Hardy’s second published novel is derived from a song in As You Like It, though the genre of pastoral cannot fully account for either Shakespeare’s play or Under the Greenwood Tree.

As with Hardy’s next-but-one novel, Far from the Madding Crowd (1874), Under the Greenwood Tree presents three men vying for the hand of one woman. The suitors for the young schoolmistress Fancy Day are Dick Dewy, the son of a tranter (a carrier), Shiner, a wealthy farmer (and churchwarden), and Maybold, a young vicar of Mellstock where most of the principal action is located. Both Fancy and Maybold are new to the parish and to their posts, and the novel is a subtle treatment of new …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

White, Adam. "Under the Greenwood Tree". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 May 2013
[, accessed 06 October 2015.]