Romantic Adventures of a Milkmaid


By Thomas Hardy

cover image of Romantic Adventures of a Milkmaid

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Romantic Adventures of a Milkmaid (1883) is a long short story by Thomas Hardy. It follows the life of Margery, a lower-class woman who is young, delicate and beautiful. She is engaged to James Hayward who works in a kiln. When one day Margery goes out to visit her grandmother's house, she encounters a man who is about to commit suicide and somehow saves him unintentionally. The man happens to be a Baron and feels grateful to her. He offers to realize any of her wishes and she says her most cherished wish is to attend a ball and dance like a noble lady. The Baron realizes Margery's dream that she lives to the fullest. She soon feels attracted to the Baron who equally shows his interest in her. However, both are still conscious of the obstacles that prevent such a relationship. Not only is Margery already engaged to a young man who loves her and who is not ready to leave her, there is also the huge social gap between her and the Baron, something that was of extreme importance according to Victorian norms. Generally, Kipling's story follows the evolution of Margery's personality within a context governed by real as well as fantastic powers.

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Romantic Adventures of a Milkmaid