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The Three Strangers


Thomas Hardy was an English novelist and poet. Hardy's first novel, The Poor Man and the Lady, finished by 1867, failed to find a publisher. He then showed it to his mentor and friend, the Victorian poet and novelist, George Meredith, who felt that The Poor Man and the Lady would be too politically controversial and might damage Hardy's ability to publish in the future. So Hardy followed his advice and he did not try further to publish it. Wessex Tales is an 1888 collection of tales in which Thomas Hardy describes in various ways the true nature of nineteenth-century marriage and its inherent restrictions, the disparities created by the role of class status in determining societal rank, the stance of women in society and the severity of even minor diseases causing the rapid onset of fatal symptoms prior to the introduction of sufficient medicinal practices. The Three Strangers was published in Longman's Magazine and Harper's Weekly in March 1883. Five years later it became the first of five stories in Hardy's Wessex Tales. Higher Crowstairs is an isolated cottage some three miles from Casterbridge, the county town where the county jail is situated. An English clergyman and his family are gathered together with some friends in this cottage to celebrate the baptism of one of their daughters. During the evening three strangers knock on the door asking for shelter and they will eventually join the party… You can listen online to free English audiobook “The Three Strangers” by Thomas Hardy on our website.