No-one is coping very well: the people at the big house are losing their grip, the girl who came breezing in like the spirit of the 20th century is turning into a self-righteous teetotalitarian, her father, the Methodist minister, is preaching pacifism. the poor- brutalized and brutal- are some of them mocking religion and some of them subjecting a supposed rapist to rough music, backed up with scythes and pitchforks. An old order is twisting and buckling under the pressure of modernity. If this is "lefty nonsense"- as Christoper Stevens says it is in The Mail- then Thomas Hardy is lefty nonsense too. I think The Mail and those it serves are un-nerved by the Village. They're unused to its palette-knife wielding bravura; it's too strong for their tastes- too much like Art. It's handing the British people their history back- unprettified, un-Fellowesed- and history is tricky, unstable stuff.