Penguin Classics Mayor Of Casterbridge Mass Market Paperback – Feb 1 1998
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From Library Journal
Hardy's 1866 novel gets the red carpet treatment here. Like Broadview's recent edition of Dracula (Classic Returns, LJ 1/98), this includes a scholarly preface and introduction, a chronicle of Hardy's life, and several appendixes. All that for $9.95 makes this an absolute steal.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
“Hardy’s world is a world that can never disappear.” —Margaret Drabble --This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
In a fit of drunken despondency, feeling that he is being pulled down by the responsibility of being a twenty-one year old husband and father, he jests that he would gladly part with his wife and daughter for the sum of five pounds. After having sworn this so vehemently for the entire evening, he has little recourse when someone takes him up on it and his wife, in shame and anger, agrees to go with the purchaser, taking their daughter with her. When sobriety brings full realization, it also brings a vow of temperance from Michael who in the following fifteen years builds himself up to a position respectability and public admiration in the nearby town of Casterbridge.
Though he seems to have learned his lesson, we are only on chapter two and his story is just beginning as his wife and child return and his friendship with a trusted friend and critical advisor becomes a bitter rivalry. Time and again he demands allegiance when he need only ask it and return it in kind.Read more ›
In this novel, the young Michael Henchard got drunk and sold his wife and child out of frustration with his lot in life and upon sobering up the next day swore off booze for 21 years (his age at the time) and went on over the years to become a successful businessman and the mayor of a town. Things unravelled for him from that point...but I won't ruin the story. I will say that Michael Henchard was a more likeable character than Donald Farfrae who came across as one of those people who is superficially nice but really devoid of character and feeling. Henchard, warts and all, is the more human of the two.
Hardy did a wonderful job of recording a vanished way of life in rural England; for that alone "The Mayor of Casterbridge" deserves praise. I think I'll delve deeper into the lives of the folks of Wessex, it was an interesting time and place, now lost to mass production and mass consumerism. Thomas Hardy preserved it for us, all we need do is read and enjoy.
The plot teems with journeys, coincidences, long-lost people showing up, and a strong vein of morality. In typical Hardyesque style, Henchard moves from the height of civic success to bankruptcy and alienation. A quasi-Greek-tragedy air of fate prevails, but Hardy manages to keep suspense alive. Protagonist and antagonist (Farfrae) are pitted against each other on civic and domestic fronts. There is not one Mayor of Casterbridge, but two, and success, failure and rivalry play a large part. There is also competition among the males as lovers, husbands and fathers.
This novel gives an insight into civic life, the worthy burgesses of Casterbridge networking in their council-rooms and taverns. But the animal instincts of the wife-sale, the gutter-press viciousness of the locals' "skimmity-ride", and the proximity of the countryside, where so many Victorian characters wander to survive and to lay bare their feelings, reveal the fragility of civilisation and our urban constructs.
Most recent customer reviews
Hardy is a master at creating pictures with words. The book is unsurpassed if one likes 'period' novels.Published 14 months ago by betsy
A classic from the Victorian age located in a fictitious English town. The Mayor is challenged to accept his fate. Read morePublished 15 months ago by MS
Wonderful human interest story for all times. Picture of every day life in an English small town.Published on June 27 2014 by Sally
there were no pictures!!! In my hard copy i have pictures but my kindle was showing me any. it was a good story thoughPublished on Jan. 20 2013 by Maryum
Everything starts off well, then goes down hill from there. This story is depressing but it does teach a lesson: that your past will eventually catch up to you. Read morePublished on March 15 2008 by Jane
Modern novels can be so pretentious, with their needless philosophizing and conscious experimentation with the language. Read morePublished on April 29 2004 by vampsandtramps
Mayor of Casterbridge is a tale about a man named Michael Henchard and the mistakes he makes in life. It is really well written, Hardy has a skill for great storytelling. Read morePublished on Feb. 25 2004