Friday, October 27, 2017

Ten top books about pastoral life

Rosamund Young is the author of The Secret Life of Cows.

One of her top ten books about pastoral life, as shared at the Guardian:
Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

There’s no need for me to recount this novel’s tragic plot, which personifies the rape of the land and the negative side of mechanisation: reckless agricultural change that continues in environmental degradation and food crises. Hardy contrasts the “fatness and warm ferments” of the pastoral vale where Tess finds happiness, with the “blank agricultural brownness” of ploughed croplands where her life begins to unravel. In the vale with its “Great Dairies”, the cows Dumpling and Old Pretty prefer Tess’s soft hands to those of other dairymaids – a telling reminder, not only that dairy farmers in the past recognised their cows as individuals, but also that the cows in turn recognised people as individuals.
Read about another entry on the list.

Tess of the D’urbervilles is among Lisa Drakeford's top ten teen YA books about teen pregnancy and Joanna Biggs's top ten books about working life.

--Marshal Zeringue