A beautiful Christmas-themed, touch-and-feel board book!
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......
This is a magical Hans Christian Andersen tale is retold for younger readers in this beautiful boardbook. Lift the flaps to see the bears and all their animal friends in their houses, and open a living room door for an even greater surprise! Special sparkly glitter on details such as lamplight, snow, Christmas toys and the decorations on the tree itself add to the festive feel. With bright illustrations to look at, and an advent calendar to open, this is sure to be a treasured gift. Follow the adventures of the little Christmas tree as he grows up in the middle of the forest and wonders where the taller trees go when they get chopped down. Just before Christmas, a family of bears find the little tree. They carefully dig him up, put him in a pot, and carry him to their home. There he is decorated with glistening glass ornaments, twinkling tinsel, and a shiny star on top. All of these details are highlighted with sparkly glitter. Open the living room door to see little tree surrounded by presents - he is a proper Christmas tree now! But what will happen when the decorations come down...? This version of The Fir Tree (1844) has been specially adapted for younger children. The original ending has been given a heartwarming lift with the addition of friendly bears and a valuable environmental message: that a Christmas tree isn't just for Christmas.
Written by Charles Dickens and first published in December 1843, A Christmas Carol is the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a bitter old miser who eventually learns the true meaning of Christmas after being visited by the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Yet to Come. A festive tale full of extremes, from darkness and despair to joy and warmth, it is one of the most enduring in English literature, has been adapted for stage and screen countless times and is rightly considered an all-time classic.
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