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Far from the Madding Crowd (Paperback)
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Thomas Hardy’s impassioned novel of courtship in rural life
In Thomas Hardy’s first major literary success, independent and spirited Bathsheba Everdene has come to Weatherbury to take up her position as a farmer on the largest estate in the area. Her bold presence draws three very different suitors: the gentleman-farmer Boldwood, the soldier-seducer Sergeant Troy, and the devoted shepherd Gabriel Oak. Each, in contrasting ways, unsettles her decisions and complicates her life, and tragedy ensues, threatening the stability of the whole community. One of his first works set in the semi-fictional region of Wessex, Hardy’s novel of swift passion and slow courtship is imbued with his evocative descriptions of rural life and landscapes, and with unflinching honesty about sexual relationships.
This edition, based on Hardy’s original 1874 manuscript, is the complete novel he never saw published, and restores its full candor and innovation. Rosemarie Morgan’s introduction discusses the history of its publication, as well as the biblical and classical allusions that permeate the novel.
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About the Author
Thomas Hardy (1840–1928), whose writing immortalized the semi-fictional Wessex countryside and dramatized his sense of the inevitable tragedy of life, wrote fifteen novels, including The Return of the Native (1878), The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886), Tess of the d’Urbervilles (1891), and Jude the Obscure (1895). He is also renowned as one of the greatest poets of his era.
Rosemarie Morgan is a professor of English at Yale. Her many works on Thomas Hardy include Women and Sexuality in the Novels of Thomas Hardy and Cancelled Words: Rediscovering Thomas Hardy.
Shannon Russell is an assistant professor of English at John Cabot University in Rome.
“Far from the Madding Crowd is the first of Thomas Hardy’s great novels, and the first to sound the tragic note
for which his fiction is best remembered.”