Item description for Far from the Madding Crowd (Classic Fiction) by Thomas Hardy...
An immediate success when it was first published in 1874, Thomas Hardy's 'pastoral tale' of the wilful and capricious Bathsheba Everdene, her three suitors - the faithful shepherd Gabriel Oak, the lonely widower Farmer Boldwood, and the dashing but faithless Sergeant Troy - and the tragic consequence of her eventual choice remains one of the most enduring and popular English novels.
Book Description Cambridge Literature is a series of literary texts edited for study by students aged 14-18 in English-speaking classrooms. It will include novels, poetry, short stories, essays, travel-writing and other non-fiction.
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Margaret Drabble edited The Oxford Companion to English Literature and The Genius of Thomas Hardy. Her novels include The Waterfall and The Gates of Ivory, and, most recently, The Witch of Exmoor and The Peppered Moth. She lives in England.
Thomas Hardy lived in Egdon Heath. Thomas Hardy was born in 1840 and died in 1928.
Thomas Hardy has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Far from the Madding Crowd (Classic Fiction)?
Great copy of a good novel Mar 27, 2006
The norton critical edition was very useful for this novel. Having all the background about the novel as well as all the footnotes throughout the novel really aided me in my understanding of the novel. Without the information in these footnotes, the book would not have had the same meaning for me. The book itself was also very good, although a bit difficult to read. It was very interesting and it led me to a better understanding of the Victorian era and trials ordinary men at that time had to go through. A good read.
Great book, awful editing... Feb 15, 2006
This is a wonderful classic for many reasons. But, I urge you not to read this edition, because the notes are terrible! There are notes for things that are obvious, and a lack for those things which need them. The worst offense, however, is that one of the notes (which readers are likely to check, as it gives background on a forgotten song sung by one of the main characters) gives away not only the important action of that short chapter, but also gives away the main line of the story. Awful, awful editing...
This book is worth reading, a terific love story! Dec 11, 2004
i do think it's a wonderful fiction! in the process of reading this book, i was captivated by the twisted development of the story and also Hardy's mastery language. it gives you a great picture of beautiful scenery in rural England, and there is romance, expections for what happens next. i really enjoy it !
Forget the infamous "love triangle"... Mar 3, 2004
In Far from the Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy introduces us to the precarious "love square". At the core of all the turmoil is beautiful farm girl, Bathsheba Everdene - spirited, vain, intelligent and adept at toying with the hearts of men. Inevitably beguiled by her charms a humble and kind farmer, Gabriel Oak, fervently attempts to win Bathsheba's affections. Enter the competition: (suitor#2) Farmer Boldwood - a wealthy and temperate middle-aged man respected in the community, eventually plunges into maniacal obsession at the mere possibility of making the beloved Miss Everdene his wife; and (suitor#3) Sergeant Francis Troy - a dashing young philandering soldier, with his share of inner demons, ruthlessness and vanity, vies for Bathsheba's hand in marriage. Bathsheba's ultimate decision, and the cataclysm it evokes, lies at the epicenter of Hardy's unforgettable ambivalent story. Far from the Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy's fourth novel, saw publication in 1874 and earned him widespread popularity as a writer. A delicately woven tale of unrequited love and regret, set in the mid-19th century, Far From the Madding Crowd is a masterpiece of pure story-telling. Hardy's classic style is a pleasure to read as he masterfully brings his characters and their dealings to life. I would not hesitate to say it definitely captured my heart as another favourite.
Wild and wooly in Wessex Oct 30, 2003
Few literary settings are more distinctive than Thomas Hardy's Wessex, a hilly, chalky, bucolic quilt of pastures and villages occupying the southwest of England, its residents sworn to the immutable cultural traditions of centuries long past. But it is not the goal of "Far from the Madding Crowd" to be merely a sentimental portrait of a region for which Hardy has a great affection, but a grandiose drama about the eventual union of a man and the woman he loves. In summary, Hardy does accede to a Happily Ever After ending, but how he gets to this point is why his novel deserves to be read.
It's not surprising that the novel was originally attributed to George Eliot because the protagonist, Gabriel Oak, as the novel's moral anchor, is very similar in character to Eliot's Adam Bede. Oak is trying to make a living on his own as a farmer, but a stroke of bad luck compels him to take a job as a shepherd for a beautiful young woman named Bathsheba Everdene who has recently inherited her uncle's farm and commands a large number of workers and servants. Oak iconically personifies the rustic setting, not only because of his surname but because of the intimacy with which he communes with nature, and his fondness for playing the flute seems designed to evoke an image of Pan.
Oak has an awkward history with Bathsheba -- he had known her before her windfall, but in her independent spirit she spurned his love. As the head of Weatherbury farm, however, she can't get by on her independence alone, and she needs Oak's expertise in ensuring her sheep are healthy and fit for wool production. Her romantic attention turns toward a profligate soldier named Francis Troy who, through an unlikely error, has just barely avoided wedding Fanny Robin, one of the Weatherbury servants. Bathsheba's eventual marriage to Troy breaks the hearts of Oak and another rival, a neighboring farmer named Boldwood whose affections she had once teased and whose obsessive nature erupts at a most climactic moment in the novel.
The plot developments are a flamboyant display of contrivance, but Hardy masters his devices so well it's impossible not to go along with him for the ride. As an example, consider the jilted Fanny who is so weary from sickness that she has to use a dog as a crutch to get to her destination where she finally dies; not until Hardy reveals what's written on the lid of her coffin do we (and Oak) realize the role Troy played in her death. Likewise, Troy's impulsive reaction to this incident seems like a purposely destructive measure that intends to stir even more turbulence into the story.
A large part of Hardy's appeal is his prose, which maximizes the value of a mastery of language; his sentences are like finely cut gems that demand to be held up to a light and studied for their craftsmanship. I believe that Hardy is the consummate novelist; he approaches the art of the novel as a painter looks upon a canvas, a weaver upon a tapestry, a composer upon an opera -- as the supreme representation of man in harmony with nature and in conflict with fate.