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Far from the Madding Crowd

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Hardy's first major novel tells the story of the shepherd Gabriel Oak and his long, patient devotion to the haughty Bathsheba Everdene. Bathsheba's faithless husband is murdered by a neighboring farmer, William Bellwood, who also loves her. At the end of a traumatic series of events, a chastened Bathsheba turns to Gabriel at last, valuing his honesty and integrity. Like Hardy's later novels, this one is characterized by coincidence, melodrama, and a degree of improbability. It also emphasizes the role of natural forces--the earth and the rhythms of rural life--all of which are personified in Gabriel Oak. FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD, like most of Hardy's works, glorifies rural life, which was fast disappearing with the advent of industrialization. His descriptions of the lush English countryside in Dorsetshire, his use of dialect, his appreciation for the honest rustic virtues of hard work, fairness, and independence of mind--all appear here, and the title itself is suggests the superiority of life outside the cities. The novel is also less bleak and unforgiving than the later works, and is remarkable for its insight into the complexities of character, particularly that of the many-faceted Bathsheba.
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Hardy's first major novel tells the story of the shepherd Gabriel Oak and his long, patient devotion to the haughty Bathsheba Everdene. Bathsheba's faithless husband is murdered by a neighboring farmer, William Bellwood, who also loves her. At the end of a traumatic series of events, a chastened Bathsheba turns to Gabriel at last, valuing his honesty and integrity. Like Hardy's later novels, this one is characterized by coincidence, melodrama, and a degree of improbability. It also emphasizes the role of natural forces--the earth and the rhythms of rural life--all of which are personified in Gabriel Oak. FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD, like most of Hardy's works, glorifies rural life, which was fast disappearing with the advent of industrialization. His descriptions of the lush English countryside in Dorsetshire, his use of dialect, his appreciation for the honest rustic virtues of hard work, fairness, and independence of mind--all appear here, and the title itself is suggests the superiority of life outside the cities. The novel is also less bleak and unforgiving than the later works, and is remarkable for its insight into the complexities of character, particularly that of the many-faceted Bathsheba. name and date in blue on first free page.

Additional Info

Author Thomas Hardy
Publisher Marshall Cavendish Partworks
Place London
Year 1991
ISBN 0863076653
Binding Hardcover
Condition Good
Comments name and date in blue on first free page.

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