English novelist and poet Thomas Hardy was highly critical of much in Victorian society, especially on the declining status of rural people in Britain. Many of his novels concern tragic characters struggling against their passions and social circumstances. The Woodlanders is a novel by Thomas Hardy, published in 1887. The Woodlanders marks the beginnings of controversy for Hardy's novels. At this point in his career, he was established enough as a writer to take risks, especially in the areas of sex, sexual attraction, marriage, divorce, marital fidelity, unconventional plots and tones, and seemingly immoral conclusions. The story begins as Grace Melbury, daughter of a timber merchant in a Dorset village, returns from finishing school and rejects her simple but understanding fiancé, the apple grower Giles Winterbourne. Grace accedes to the urgings of her father and marries Edred Fitzpiers, a young doctor of great charm but questionable moral character. The novel was later classified by Hardy for the Wessex Edition of his works in the primary group of "Novels of Character and Environment". Yet despite it being regarded as one of Hardy's major novels, the novel is 'something of an anomaly', in comparison with the tragic death of both its predecessor The Mayor of Casterbridge and its successor Tess of the D'Urbervilles. You can listen online to free English audiobook “The Woodlanders” by Thomas Hardy on our website.