Two on a Tower

Two on a Tower Lady Constantine breaks all the rules of decorum when she falls in love with beautiful youth Swithin St Cleeve her social inferior and ten years her junior Together in an ancient monument converted

  • Title: Two on a Tower
  • Author: Thomas Hardy
  • ISBN: 9780141199436
  • Page: 295
  • Format: Paperback
  • Lady Constantine, breaks all the rules of decorum when she falls in love with beautiful youth Swithin St Cleeve, her social inferior and ten years her junior Together, in an ancient monument converted into an astronomical observation tower, they create their own private universe until the pressures of the outside world threaten to destroy it.

    One thought on “Two on a Tower”

    1. I haven’t read a Thomas Hardy novel since I was nineteen. I have good memories of The Return of the Native, Jude the Obscure and especially Tess. This one has sat unread since those distant halcyon days. I suspect this novel might highlight the problems of applying all mental energy to the construction of plot and leaving the characters as a secondary consideration – a cheap trick which characterizes lots of modern commercial fiction. Everyone in this novel is shackled to the dogmatic plot. [...]

    2. Any TH novel subtitled “a romance” will, inevitably, end in tears, in copious buckets of tears cried for years and years, the buckets turning into wells, and the wells turning into lagoons. This nonromcom concerns Viviette Constantine, a monied woman who takes a liking to Swithin St Cleeve, an unmonied self-trained astronomer, who occupies a tower on Viviette’s inherited land to conduct his stargazing scholarship activities. Over the course of the novel, various pandemoniums, convenient an [...]

    3. Well, I am sad to say, but I am slowly winding up my summer of reading the literary works of George Eliot and Thomas Hardy. I recently finished Thomas Hardy's Two on a Tower, one of his more obscure novels. Two on a Tower was first serialized in the Atlantic Monthly and then published in book-form in 1882, and was categorized by Hardy as a novel of "Romance and Fantasies." I had the devil of a time finding a copy of this novel, and short of ordering a brand-new copy from an on-line source, I con [...]

    4. Thomas Hardy said that he wrote this novel “to set the emotional history of two infinitesimal lives against the stupendous background of the stellar universe…” To begin the tale, a woman decides to investigate a tower and meets a young astronomer there who introduces her to the wonders of the night sky. As such, the novel is fiction about science rather than science fiction. Hardy uses the book as a social commentary on the Victorian rules of society and religion of the time. He sets our t [...]

    5. Two on a TowerA haunting juxtapositionOf heavenly exposition,Astronomical exhibition,And tragical perdition,Rather spoiled in this edition(a Penguin Classics comission)By the unfortunate additionOf some academic’s submissionTo classify every positionAt the expense of recognition.

    6. I did enjoy this, but it's not my favourite Hardy. It has some really interesting themes and quite an interesting central relationship, but I don't think the characters were as developed and the ending was quite odd. Hardy's writing is beautiful as always though.

    7. Come due moderni Vega e Altair, la tessitrice e il mandriano, Lady Constantine e il suo giovane protetto St. Cleeve, trovano la loro personale Via Lattea sulla vetta di una torre in disuso, punto d'incontro e di osservazione per due persone altrimenti inavvicinabili.La torre del diciottesimo secolo situata nella contea del Wessex, di proprietà del marito di Lady Constantine, costruita forse sotto un accampamento romano o, secondo altri, sotto un antico campo nel quale i sassoni tenevano le loro [...]

    8. My favourite Hardy's novel, hands down.It wasn't as good as Tess of the d'Urbervilles nor Far From the Madding Crowd but this one talked to my soul and I will never ever forget it.

    9. (4.5 rounded up, because I just enjoyed it that much.) In Welland is situated a memorial tower in a prehistoric wilderness. The tower stands in between Welland House, where neglected wife Viviette Constantine lives, and Welland Bottom, the dwelling of young, orphaned aspiring astronomer Swithin St. Cleeve. When Lady Constantine offers the tower and other resources for Swithin's astrological observations, she finds herself drawn to him, despite her absent (and unkind) husband, and the difference [...]

    10. What intrigued me about this book was Hardy's characterization of the hero as a budding astronomer in the 18--'s. There are some fantastic dialogs between the two main characters about the stars and universe. Their sentiments in describing the experience of studying an infinite abyss of stars ring true even today. The story centers on the character of Vivette Constatntine, falling in love and ultimately having a relationship with Swithin St. Cleave, a man almost 10 years younger than herself. I [...]

    11. What happens when a woman of a certain age, who is married and of the upper classes in England, is attracted to a younger, intelligent man of a family of farmers? In the hands of Thomas Hardy it is a treat for the eye and ear as well as a good Hardy read. I never would have known this book existed if I had not found it through a friend on . For me, there is nothing like the settings, descriptions, symbolism and situations created by this writer.Two on a Tower has been criticized for its "acciden [...]

    12. I know that a lot of people have a problem with the way that Hardy enjoys just destroying his characters, that the endings of his books are difficult to read, but I really enjoy his writing. If you're looking for a classic to get into, this book is easy to read and isn't too long, as well as being engaging.

    13. From BBC Radio 4 - Classical Serial:Dramatisation by Jon Sen of Thomas Hardy's tragic tale of star-crossed lovers in the West Country.Free download available at Project Gutenberg.And the audio version is available at LibriVox.

    14. Definitely closer to 4 stars than 3. The shock value of an ending was absurd that I actually laughed"aah classic Hardy!" It is beautifully written and I liked the prevailing theme of how small our lives are in comparison to the scale of the universe which surpasses our knowledge.

    15. I really liked this book about the forbidden love between Swithin, the 20 year old astronomer and Viviette, the much older woman of 29. The story is short in length but takes many different twists and turns making it a fun (maybe not quite the right word) and easy read. Although the author's writing could be quite descriptive, and sometimes lost on me, I also found him to be contemporary at the same time with mini cliffhangers drawing you so easily from one chapter to the next.

    16. I want to share just a bit of prose from this novel by Thomas Hardy. It’s a scene late at night at the height of a violent wind storm and Lady Constantine and Swithin (the protagonists) are atop the old tower trying to perform some astronomical observation:“Under any other circumstances Lady Constantine might have felt a nameless fear in thus sitting aloft on a lonely column, with a forest groaning under her feet, and Paleolithic dead men feeding its rooms; but the passionate decision stirre [...]

    17. All of the astronomy just felt like a side story. This is the tale of the condition of the nineteenth century woman.* (Okay, the upper class nineteenth century woman, not that that makes it much better for her, really.)* (view spoiler)[Married woman falls in love with 8-years-younger man. Finds out her long-absent husband has died; enacts secret marriage with younger man. Woman's controlling brother comes for a very long visit, meddles in her affairs, connives, figures out she is in love with yo [...]

    18. DESCRIPTION: In this novel, set in Wessex, the rich Lady Constantine lives a boring existence, also a chaste one, forced on her by an absent husband who may indeed be dead. But then she meets young Swithin, a naively ambitious astronomer, who shares with her his passion for the stars. MY REVIEW: One of the reasons I love this story is that the characters were incredibly unique for their era. The main female lead (Lady Constantine) is ten years senior to the male lead (Swithin). The other element [...]

    19. Trama molto ben costruita e coinvolgente che fino all'ultima pagina ti porta a sperare che la vicenda possa concludersi in un certo modo e ci sei quasi ma Hardy non lascia scampo e quando pensi che tutto si stia accomodando per il meglio ti dà il colpo di grazia,Ennesimo romanzo che causò un sacco di polemiche e ritorsioni per i temi scottanti trattati: una relazione tra un giovane e una donna più matura appartenenti a classi sociali diverse, un matrimonio segreto, una gravidanza inopportuna, [...]

    20. Dacă sunteţi în căutarea unei poveşti de o extraordinară sensibilitate, atunci vă recomand Idilă pe un turn, unul dintre romanele de dragoste ale lui Thomas Hardy, recent apărut la Editura Art.În stilul victorian realist cu care ne-a obişnuit, Thomas Hardy ne aduce în faţa ochilor povestea iubirii nefericite dintre o nobilă mai în vârstă şi un tânăr astronom sărac. Deşi căsătorită, Lady Constantine trăieşte singură, căci soţul ei, pasionat de aventură, a plecat la [...]

    21. It took me a little bit longer to get through this book than it normally would partially because the older style writing took more concentration on my part, and partially because I found the first part of the novel to be really slow. The book was comprised of three parts: the first was an introduction to the characters and the plot, the second was where most of the controversy began, and the third was where the solutions began to happen. The third part was my favourite of the three because I tho [...]

    22. I am laughing so hard omg. I was originally going to give this book 3 stars, but then that ending had me legit almost in tears from laughter, like that is not at all what I expected. The detailed astronomy bits I could have done without, but overall this just seemed like your typical classic romance, which is why I originally intended to give it only 3 stars. I changed my mind once I finished it, and it didn't have the typical happy ending, but rather a bunch of abrupt plot changes, with the cou [...]

    23. WTF just happened??? Oh Mr Hardy, your novels are so tempestuous. You act like you're going to give us a charming little love story and then you pull the rug out from us and we smack into the floor with our faces. At least that's what I seemed to have experienced with this

    24. At first I did not know I was enjoying this book. Until the end. Too sad for a love like this. Too real for every real love

    25. Two on a Tower is definitely not as good as Far from the Madding Crowd or Tess of the d'Ubervilles, but it was such a quick and fun read. My dearest Thomas Hardy, you did it again.

    26. TWO ON A TOWER. (1882). Thomas Hardy. ***. This is not one of Hardy’s better known works. As a matter of fact (blush), I had never heard of it, but grabbed a copy at a library book sale. After a little ways into the book, it becomes obvious why it never became popular. Although Hardy manages to continue to demonstrate his ability at descriptive passages, he falls flat on his face when trying to develop a love story that today would be turned down as a TV soap opera pilot. The tower, a throwbac [...]

    27. Even though this is not one of Thomas Hardy's best, I enjoyed this book despite the corny story line of a 20-year-old poor astronomer's budding romance with a 29-year-old Lady. I love Hardy's writing. Though this book is a tragedy, I had to laugh at all the "close calls" where tragedy could have been averted if only the letter had arrived a few hours earlier or the hero hadn't left on the ship until one day later. Quotes: Thomas Hardy explained in his preface why he wrote this book: "This slight [...]

    28. As with most romances and much Victorian fiction, I felt a considerable burden lifted from me after I finished Two on a Tower. Yet I can't help but feel regret that it's over so quickly. Although not my favourite genre, Thomas Hardy is skilled enough to draw me into the lives of these two people and make me sympathize with their plight. Even as I struggled with my distaste for the idiosyncrasies of Victorian English (such as double negatives and a fascination with the passive voice), I enjoyed H [...]

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