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Download Thomas Hardy Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Thomas Hardy Audiobook, by Claire Tomalin Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (403 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Claire Tomalin Narrator: Josephine Bailey Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2007 ISBN: 9781400173983
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The novels of Thomas Hardy have a permanent place on every booklover’s shelf, yet little is known about the interior life of the man who wrote them. A believer and an unbeliever, a socialist and a snob, an unhappy husband and a desolate widower, Hardy challenged the sexual and religious conventions of his time in his novels and then abandoned fiction to re-establish himself as a great twentieth-century lyric poet. In this acclaimed new biography, Claire Tomalin, one of today’s pre-eminent literary biographers, investigates this beloved writer and reveals a figure as rich and complex as his tremendous legacy.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dana | 2/18/2014

    " Tomalin is the best of biographers. Exhaustive and lengthy, yet keeps you fascinated by the man she brings to life in this book. Incredible research and rich detail written with real talent. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ruth Khanna | 2/18/2014

    " Great reading. Amazing insights into Hardy's life and times. Made me understand where he was coming from when he wrote books like Tess of the D'urbervilles and Jude The Obscure "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judy | 1/30/2014

    " A good biography, and beautifully written as always with Tomalin, though I didn't really learn much that was new after reading other Hardy biographies in the past. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nancy | 1/23/2014

    " Tom and I listened to this while on a trip to Jackson Hole Wyoming. If we'd been able to get NPR in more places I'd never have finished it. Ms. Tomalin was overly thorough with details about the births and deaths of relatives, speculations about when Hardy might have discovered he was conceived before his parents married and how that might have affected his work. Perhaps it is better read than listened to. I'm sure I would have skimmed through many parts of this book if I had been reading it rather than trapped listening to it. A little too much of this book seems to be Ms. Tomalin showing off her genealogical research skills. Apparently she didn't have a lot of source material to work with since his second wife destroyed notes, diaries and letters that predated her arrival when Hardy was in his 70s. Usually after reading a biography I am more interested in an author. This time I am less interested. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 D. | 1/22/2014

    " This was a very nice, thorough biography of Hardy. It made me want to go back and reread some of his books and poetry now that I know a bit more about his influences and the parts of his life that inspired his writing. It took me a long time to read this book--I only had 30-minute snatches of time here and there. I'd recommend reading it if you have more time to devote to it--I didn't like reading it in such a piecemeal fashion. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Valerie | 1/16/2014

    " Thomas Hardy rises above his social station by becoming one of the most noted writers of Victorian England. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shui | 12/15/2013

    " I am a fan of Hardy books and found this biography very interestting. Its insightful as to Hardy's life and brings a much more personal touch to the novels that he wrote and their subject matter. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Cat | 11/27/2013

    " Contains many interesting bits for Hardy readers. Not quite as fun as Tomalin's Austen biography, perhaps owing to its length, perhaps to Hardy himself. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joyce M. Tice | 11/25/2013

    " Absolutely excellent. It ties Hardy's life and works together and presents him in full depth of character and detail of life. When I finished I felt as though I knew him personally. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John Hornyak | 6/4/2013

    " Fantastic bio "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer Porter | 3/24/2013

    " Gives a very good understanding of what Thomas Hardy was like as a writer and person. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura McNeal | 2/17/2013

    " This biography is beautiful and complete. It is particularly valuable as a glimpse into the life of Thomas Hardy's wife. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lee Anne | 7/1/2012

    " A serviceable biography of one of my favorite authors. It wasn't really a page-turner, but I learned a lot about him, and I didn't end up hating him at the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 4/2/2012

    " I worship Thomas Hardy. Enough said. And while Tomalin's "might have"s "would have"s etc gets annoying after a while, and while I think each novel deserved more analysis, Hardy's life and works stand on their own. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura | 11/24/2010

    " This biography is beautiful and complete. It is particularly valuable as a glimpse into the life of Thomas Hardy's wife. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dana | 5/9/2010

    " Tomalin is the best of biographers. Exhaustive and lengthy, yet keeps you fascinated by the man she brings to life in this book. Incredible research and rich detail written with real talent. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joyce M. | 3/15/2010

    " Absolutely excellent. It ties Hardy's life and works together and presents him in full depth of character and detail of life. When I finished I felt as though I knew him personally. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tracey | 6/15/2009

    " Although Claire Tomalin is obviously a big fan of Thomas Hardy's poetry this was a well balanced biography. Very interesting and very readable. It has made me want to read more of his work especially the poetry. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ruth | 5/7/2009

    " Great reading. Amazing insights into Hardy's life and times. Made me understand where he was coming from when he wrote books like Tess of the D'urbervilles and Jude The Obscure "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Cat | 4/13/2009

    " Contains many interesting bits for Hardy readers. Not quite as fun as Tomalin's Austen biography, perhaps owing to its length, perhaps to Hardy himself. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shui | 10/18/2008

    " I am a fan of Hardy books and found this biography very interestting. Its insightful as to Hardy's life and brings a much more personal touch to the novels that he wrote and their subject matter. "

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About the Author

Claire Tomalin is the author of Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self, winner of the Whitbread Book of the Year, the Whitbread Biography Award, and the Samuel Pepys Award, and dubbed “invaluable” by the New York Review of Books. She is a trustee of the National Portrait Gallery, London, and the Wordsworth Trust, a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

About the Narrator

Josephine Bailey’s impeccable narrations include the British classics Jane Eyre and The Secret Garden. She has also used her subtly nuanced style to enliven historical fiction and light romances. She has won nine AudioFile Earphones Awards and been a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award.