A novel by T. Hardy, published 1887.
The scene is set in Little Hintock, a village deep in the woods of Dorset. In this luxuriant woodland country live a group of native woodlanders. Giles Winterbourne, who tends trees and travels in the autumn with his cider‐press, loves and is betrothed to Grace Melbury, daughter of a well‐to‐do Hintock timber merchant. But when she returns from her finishing school she appears as the social superior of Giles. At about the same time Giles suffers financial misfortune. Grace's father brings the engagement to an end and presses his daughter into marriage with Edred Fitzpiers, a handsome young doctor. Meanwhile Marty South, a village girl who had always loved Giles, has to sell her splendid hair to help herself and her sick father to live. Fitzpiers is soon lured away from Grace by a wealthy widow, Felice Charmond. The hope of divorce brings Grace and the faithful Giles together again. When Fitzpiers returns from his travels with Mrs Charmond, Grace flies for refuge to Giles's cottage in the woods. Giles, although ill, makes for himself a shelter of hurdles, where a few days later he dies. The loving, faithful Marty meets Grace by Giles's deathbed, and together they regularly visit his burial‐place. With Mrs Charmond's death Grace and Fitzpiers are reconciled, and Marty is left alone to tend Giles's grave.
Related content in Oxford Index
Thomas Hardy (1840—1928) novelist and poet