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Far from the Madding Crowd [Paperback]

S Russell , Thomas Hardy , Russell
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 25 2003 Penguin Classics
"Far from the Madding Crowd" was Thomas Hardy's first major literary success, and it edited with an introduction and notes by Rosemarie Morgan and Shannon Russell in "Penguin Classics". 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, 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. The first of his works set in the fictional county 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 candour and innovation. Rosemarie Morgan's introduction discusses the history of its publication, and the Biblical and Classical allusions that permeate the novel. Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), born Higher Brockhampton, near Dorchester, originally trained as an architect before earning his living as a writer. Though he saw himself primarily as a poet, Hardy was the author of some of the late eighteenth century's major novels: "The Mayor of Casterbridge" (1886), "Tess of the D'Urbervilles" (1891), "Far from the Madding Crowd" (1874), and "Jude the Obscure" (1895). Amidst the controversy caused by "Jude the Obscure", he turned to the poetry he had been writing all his life. In the next thirty years he published over nine hundred poems and his epic drama in verse, "The Dynasts". If you enjoyed "Far from the Madding Crowd", you might also like Elizabeth Gaskell's "Mary Barton". "Wonderful...a landscape which satisfies every stir of the imagination and which ravishes the senses". (Ronald Blythe).

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About the Author

Thomas Hardy was born in 1840 and wrote both poetry and novels, including The Mayor of Casterbridge, Tess of the D'Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure. He died in 1928. Rosemarie Morgan teaches in the English department at Yale University. Shannon Russell holds a post doctoral Fellowship specializing in nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature at Oxford.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
When Farmer Oak smiled, the corners of his mouth spread, till they were within an unimportant distance of his ears, his eyes were reduced to mere chinks, and diverging wrinkles appeared round them, extending upon his countenance like the rays in a rudimentary sketch of the rising sun. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it March 22 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A great old Victorian Gothic romance well worth the read with all the tradgedy and triumph of that period in time. There is also a great movie starring Julie Christie by the same name..
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget the infamous "love triangle"... March 3 2004
Format:Paperback
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget the infamous "love triangle"... March 3 2004
Format:Hardcover
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Far From the Madding Crowd read by Nathaniel Parker March 19 2010
By A. Swnb
Format:Audio CD
I have listened to this audiobook and highly, highly recommend it! Mr. Parker is an amazing and prodigiously talented voice artist, and it's almost unbelievable how he creates the diverse characters with his incredibly adaptable voice alone, to the point where you can picture each and every person by sound alone. The part where young Cainey Ball is choking on running and trying to talk at the same time ... hilarious. The story itself is really wonderful. It creates a living picture of life in the place and time. And of course it is a great love story. All in all, this audiobook is, for me, 13 hours of pure bliss.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Forget the infamous "love triangle"... March 3 2004
Format:Audio CD
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.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Wild and wooly in Wessex Oct. 30 2003
By A.J.
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars a very readable classic
While I was reading this book I forgot about the modern world and was totally immersed in a world of farming in the early 19th century. Read more
Published on Oct. 31 2009 by L. L. Whitehead
5.0 out of 5 stars Slow but rewarding
This book was a required read for Academic Decathalon but I was handed the cliff notes and told to study them if I didn't have time to read the book. Read more
Published on Jan. 5 2003 by Megan McKinney
3.0 out of 5 stars Lovely language but long
I read this novel when I was living in Japan. There were no English books avaliable where I was living but a motley collection of classics in the local library. Read more
Published on Oct. 25 2002 by A. J. Bennet
5.0 out of 5 stars Hardy's Classic Wessex Love Story
Having rediscovered Thomas Hardy only recently, I am simply entranced by his excellent prose, his keen powers of description and observation and his spellbinding characters. Read more
Published on Nov. 24 2001 by John Kwok
5.0 out of 5 stars Far from the Madding Crowd
A beautifully written, well-crafted novel of love and passion among the farming folk of Wessex. A thoroughly enjoyable book that evokes the atmosphere of 19th Century England and... Read more
Published on Feb. 23 2001 by Linda Bird
5.0 out of 5 stars A timeless tale
Have you ever read a book, and thought that no-one in 100 years will understand it? Or have you ever read an old book and not fully understood it? Read more
Published on Feb. 20 2001 by David C
5.0 out of 5 stars Hardy's Feel-Good Novel
This is a fantastic introduction to Hardy's work for those who have not yet plunged into his more serious (and tragic) novels -- it's the only Hardy I've read thus far that... Read more
Published on Jan. 5 2001 by Tracy H. Slagter
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