Far from the Madding Crowd

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Knopf, 1991 - Fiction - 480 pages
59 Reviews
Set in his fictional Wessex countryside in southwest England, Far from the Madding Crowd was Thomas Hardy's breakthrough work. Though it was first published anonymously in 1874, the quick and tremendous success of Far from the Madding Crowd persuaded Hardy to give up his first profession, architecture, to concentrate on writing fiction. The story of the ill-fated passions of the beautiful Bathsheba Everdene and her three suitors offers a spectacle of country life brimming with an energy and charm not customarily associated with Hardy. ("When Farmer Oak smiled, " the novel begins, "the corners of his mouth spread till they were within an unimportant distance of his ears. . . .")
----The text is based on the authoritative Wessex Edition of 1912, revised and corrected by Hardy himself.
----This edition is the companion volume to the Mobil Masterpiece Theatre WGBH television presentation broadcast on PBS. It stars Paloma Baeza as Bathsheba Everdene, Nathaniel Parker as Gabriel Oak, Nigel Terry as Mr. Boldwood, and Jonathan Firth as Frank Troy. Adapted by Philomena
McDonagh, Far from the Madding Crowd is directed by Nick Renton.
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User Review  - TerriS - LibraryThing

I really enjoyed this! It was much lighter than "Tess" -- at least for me! And even had some bits of humor in it, which surprised & pleased me :) Read full review

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User Review  - Olivermagnus - LibraryThing

Far from the Madding Crowd tells the story of Gabriel Oak, a shepherd, and the young woman he admires, Bathsheba Everdene. While at the beginning of the novel Oak is fairly prosperous and Bathsheba ... Read full review

Contents

Description of Farmer Oak An Incident
1
Night The Flock An Interior Another Interior
8
A Girl on Horseback Conversation
18
Copyright

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About the author (1991)

Thomas Hardy, whose writing immortalized the Wessex countryside and dramatized his sense of the inevitable tragedy of life, was born at Upper Bockhampton, near Stinsford in Dorset in 1840, the eldest child of a prosperous stonemason. As a youth he trained as an architect and in 1862 obtained a post in London. During his time he began seriously to write poetry, which remained his first literary love and his last. In 1867-68, his first novel was refused publication, butUnder the Greenwood Tree (1872), his first Wessex novel, did well enough to convince him to continue writing. In 1874, Far from the Madding Crowd, published serially and anonymously in the Cornhill Magazine, became a great success. Hardy married Emma Gifford in 1878, and in 1885 they settled at Max Gate in Dorchester, where he lived the rest of his life. There he had wrote The Return of the Native (1878), The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886), Tess of the d'Urbervilles (1891), and Jude the Obscure (1895).

With Tess, Hardy clashed with the expectations of his audience; a storm of abuse broke over the "infidelity" and "obscenity" of this great novel he had subtitled "A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented." Jude the Obscure aroused even greater indignation and was denounced as pornography. Hardy's disgust at the reaction to Jude led him to announce in 1869 that he would never write fiction ever again. He published Wessex Poems in 1898, Poems of the Past and Present in 1901, and from 1903 to 1908, The Dynast, a huge drama in which Hardy' s conception of the Immanent Will, implicit in the tragic novels, is most clearly stated.

In 1912 Hardy's wife, Emma died. The marriage was childless and had been a troubled one, but in the years after her death, Hardy memorialized her in several poems. At seventy-four he married his longtime secretary, Florence Dugdale, herself a writer of children's books and articles, with whom he live happily until his death in 1928. His heart was buried in the Wessex Countryside; his ashes were placed next to Charles Dickens's in the Poet's Corner of Westminster Abbey.

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