Beautiful atmospheric artwork by artist living in South Africa.
Thomas Hardy, (2 June 1840 - 11 January 1928) was an English novelist and poet. A Victorian realist in the tradition of George Eliot, he was influenced both in his novels and in his poetry by Romanticism, especially William Wordsworth.Charles Dickens was another important influence.Like Dickens, he was highly critical of much in Victorian society, though Hardy focused more on a declining rural society. Under the Greenwood Tree: A Rural Painting of the Dutch School is a novel by Thomas Hardy, published anonymously in 1872. It was Hardy's second published novel, the last to be printed without his name, and the first of his great series of Wessex novels. Whilst Hardy originally thought of simply calling it The Mellstock Quire, he settled on a title taken from a song in Shakespeare's As You Like It .The plot concerns the activities of a group of church musicians, the Mellstock parish choir, one of whom, Dick Dewy, becomes romantically entangled with a comely new school mistress, Fancy Day. The novel opens with the fiddlers and singers of the choir-including Dick, his father Reuben Dewy, and grandfather William Dewy-making the rounds in Mellstock village on Christmas Eve. When the little band plays at the schoolhouse, young Dick falls for Fancy at first sight. Dick, smitten, seeks to insinuate himself into her life and affections, but Fancy's beauty has gained her other suitors, including a rich farmer and the new vicar at the parish church. The vicar, Mr. Maybold, informs the choir that he intends Fancy, an accomplished organ player, to replace their traditional musical accompaniment to Sunday services. The tranter and the rest of the band visit the vicar's home to negotiate, but reluctantly give way to the more modern organ. Meanwhile, Dick seems to win Fancy's heart, and she discovers an effective strategem to overcome her father's objection to the potential marriage. After the two are engaged secretly, however, vicar Maybold impetuously asks Fancy to marry him and lead a life of relative affluence; racked by guilt and temptation, she accepts. The next day, however, at a chance meeting with the as-yet-unaware Dick, surprised Maybold learns from him of his engagement to Fancy. The vicar follows by prompting her by letter, while expressing being taken aback by such news, to be honest to Dewy and withdraw her commitment to him if she indeed intended to become married to Maybold. Fancy responds by withdrawing her consent to marry Maybold and asking him to keep her initial acceptance of his proposal forever a secret. Maybold replies by urging her again to be honest with Dick and admit she accepted the vicar despite having already committed herself to the young tranter, assuring her she would be forgiven. However, as she marries Dewy who is so in love he readily dismisses what he previously (rightly) considered exhibits of her fickleness and rejoices at what he perceives at the prospect of a happy union based on honesty, given Fancy's effusive and seemingly frank admission to some (minor) infidelities, while he assumes they would never keep any secrets from each other, she resolves never to disclose the truly incontrovertible and damning evidence against her character in her having so readily accepted Maybold despite her engagement to Dewy. The novel ends with a humorous portrait of Reuben, William, Mr. Day, and the rest of the Mellstock rustics as they celebrate the couple's wedding day. The mood is joyful, but at the end of the final chapter, the reader is reminded that Fancy has married with "a secret she would never tell" (her final flirtation and brief engagement to the vicar). While Under the Greenwood Tree is often seen as Hardy's gentlest and most pastoral novel, this final touch introduces a faint note of melancholy to the conclusion......
A Christmas novella.Robert Anjer is a mid-level bureaucrat who dislikes Christmas and prefers to stay in his safe apartment or office in D.C. He finds himself being sent to the small town of Leavenworth, Washington, to supervise the shipment of the national Christmas tree. Here he meets Ken Rainey, the larger-than-life-seeming truck driver who is delivering the tree to the White House, and finds out that he must ride along in the truck with the tree. After insulting Ken while on the phone to D.C, he must now deal with the logistics of the trip. First Ken convinces Anjer that the clothes he has with him are inadequate for the trip. Anjer's education begins with a shopping trip to purchase clothes adequate for the journey. He is given a peek into the life of a long-haul driver, while meeting some wonderful people along the way. While dealing with the weather in Wyoming and helping a family escape the danger of an impending storm, he gets a view of America he never knew existed. The scenery opens up his eyes to just a glimpse of what America has to offer. Other adventures await the duo as they make their way to the delivery in D.C. This is not really a religious book but does give a view of Christmas as a time of giving and caring about our fellow man. It is also just a glimpse into the lives of the men and women who travel the open road to deliver all the goods we consume as a nation.
The story begins in a modest home in early Edwardian Leeds, where the Prideaux family await a surprise event on Christmas Day 1902. The story takes the reader from 1902 to 1993 in a short story and gives a flavour of what Christmas meant to Clifford and his family. A Christmas Story gives a flavour of the times prior to the Great War for those with no money and no property. What the family had, was love for each other and that love cannot be exaggerated. A A Prideaux has written about each of her Prideaux ancestors from 1040 to the present day. She has traced every one of them through research and discovered where and how they lived. A A Prideaux has travelled miles in this search. She has old books, family documents and stories which have helped her in the conclusions drawn. Clifford Prideaux and her mother were responsible for setting the fire in her soul that turned into a Prideaux obsession. A Christmas Story is one of her fictionalised tales which draw on known facts. In this case, the story is written with personal experience of the author. This Clifford Prideaux (1902-1963) story takes us to Leeds and a tiny stone cottage full of love and warmth. These stories bring the Prideauxs to life, giving them personalities and allowing the reader to know them as people, not just names. A Christmas Story is about my grandma and grandad. Christmas was always a special time for Grandad Clifford. It's magic ran through his veins from the first day. Clifford was a kind man, but also a mystical one. Even after his death, he has visited his family on many occasions. I think of him as a hermit character, cloaked and walking with a long staff. He appeared in his role of Clifford for only 60 years before he returned to being the hermit. A A Prideaux.
The Stage 4 Biff, Chip and Kipper Stories, written by Roderick Hunt and illustrated by Alex Brychta, provide a rich story context to help develop language comprehension and decoding skills. Stories, More Stories A, More Stories B and More Stories C help children to progress from teacher-supported reading at the early stages to more independent reading. The new-style inside cover notes provide advice and support to help adults read and explore the story with the child, supporting their decoding and language comprehension development. Each pack of 6 includes a Group/Guided Reading Notes Booklet with a Vocabulary Chart listing high frequency tricky words and a Curriculum Coverage Chart for England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. Each story has individual notes and suggested activities for Group and Independent Reading, Speaking, listening and drama and Writing, with each section showing the relevant objectives covered. Decoding and Language Comprehension opportunities are highlighted throughout.
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