It is easy to use a novel like The Woodlanders to support stereo-typed ideas of the relationship between country and town. The woods can be seen as a place of innocence, safety and natural fertility; the ‘good’ characters as simple country people, and Fitzpiers and Mrs Charmond as urban interlopers (in Brown’s view their sinister qualities are heightened by Fitzpiers’ being an intellectual). Grace is then the pivotal figure, who has to choose between town civilisation and country life in choosing between Fitzpiers and Giles.
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