Far From the Madding Crowd

Far From the Madding Crowd

Paperback - 1993
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Introduction and Notes by Norman Vance, Professor of English, University of Sussex.

Far from the Madding Crowd is perhaps the most pastoral of Hardy's Wessex novels. It tells the story of the young farmer Gabriel Oak and his love for and pursuit of the elusive Bathsheba Everdene, whose wayward nature leads her to both tragedy and true love.

It tells of the dashing Sergeant Troy whose rakish philosophy of life was '...the past was yesterday; never, the day after', and lastly, of the introverted and reclusive gentleman farmer, Mr Boldwood, whose love fills him with '...a fearful sense of exposure', when he first sets eyes on Bathsheba.

The background of this tale is the Wessex countryside in all its moods, contriving to make it one of the most English of great English novels.

Publisher: Ware, Herts. : Wordsworth, 1993
ISBN: 9781853260674
Characteristics: 423 pages ;,18 cm.


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Jun 26, 2019

A beautifully written story of love, loss, and the importance of humility. This is a novel all should read.

Jul 22, 2018

This was a timeless love story full of intrigue, mystery, and conflict of love. The reader is drawn completely into the world of Bathsheba Everdene. Into the thoughtless actions of her youth in the beginning to the final growth into womanhood near the end. Before the readers eyes she becomes more aware of her actions and thoughts. Just like with a real person you know there are times when you almost dislike her and other times she seems more alive than the words on the pages. The only thing really lacking is the lack of voice of Bathsheba when most of the story is told through the men of the story. But that can be eliminated as a downside when you consider the time period that the novel was written. If you enjoy the classics this is one that you will enjoy. A love story with only one true match that is written in the stars from the very beginning.

Jun 14, 2017

Anyone stepping into a classic 19th century novel such as this needs to leave 21st century ideas of literary style behind and immerse oneself in an entirely different world. Having once made that shift, a feast awaits. Hardy's craft and inventiveness in presenting the personality, appearance, demeanor and habits of of his characters is unmatched in English literature. He often employs what in a lesser writer might be considered a trick, that of introducing a seemingly trivial event or action that sets in motion an often cataclysmic sequence of events (in this case the ill-advised sending of a somewhat juvenile valentine). His stories begin slowly and gain momentum, often with tragic consequences. Most of his main characters are flawed or are prone to make unwise decisions; in this, they are intensely human. Hardy's turn of phrase is often exquisite, emerging clear and shining despite the archaic and (to our ears) overly complex Victorian era syntax. e.g. "That night Gabriel Oak, beneath the screen of closed eyelids, was busy with fancies and full of movement, like a river flowing rapidly under its ice."
A thoroughly satisfying novel.

GSPLjodie Aug 18, 2016

Classic story of a love triangle - except with four players. An exceptional read - well worth the time and effort. Looking forward to watching the movie.

Jun 07, 2016

'Read Hardy' my sister said 5 years ago, 'I think you'll like him.' 862 books later, I finally took that advise and read my first Hardy.

This was a wonderfully well written and evocative story. Hardy transports you to a time and a place, he writes the landscape and the people so you can see them, envision them.

It's pretty hard not to like the character of Gabriel Oak; the steady, though unlucky, sheep farmer. His love is pure and he doesn't let either his emotions or circumstances change his opinions or alter his attitude.
It's equally hard to like either Boldwood or Troy. Men both ruled by passions they can't or won't control.
And Bathsheba lies somewhere in the middle, a very human character, endearing and maddening in turns. Admirable for the way she moves and works in what was (and probably still is) very much a man's world.

I can't say I actually really liked any of the characters. Gabriel was plodding, Troy a creep, Boldwood pushy and Bathsheba flighty; but altogether, they made for a fantastic story.

Aug 03, 2015

This is the second book by Thomas Hardy that I've read and I love his style of writing. It was written in 1876 but it's easy to see that people have not changed all that much. The relationships between Bathsheba and her three suitors are so real. I especially liked how Gabriel and Bathsheba interact in the story. They become even closer than friends and coworkers. Hardy's description of the fictional "Wessex" is so realistic, it will make you want to go there. It was interesting learning about how they farmed and their daily and seasonal tasks. Also, I found most of the characters very amusing. I recommend this for anyone who enjoys English lit and older romance stories.

Jul 15, 2015

The story of Gabriel and Bathsheba's relationship. Beautiful language and sentence structure.

May 20, 2015

I love Hardy writing, but the language of the time is tedious & sometimes hard to follow now days. I tried rereading it after the 2015 movie just to remind myself of the story.

May 16, 2015

The plot is rather too similar to cookie-cutter saccharine romances, but the other parts, the reflective essay-istic parts redeem the novel.
This edition is not a Penguin Classic, and so lacks notes and glossary for regionalisms and obsolescent terms and phrases.

Dec 16, 2011

I really loved the idea of reading about the Victorian working class. I was not inthralled with the love story, which was the crux of the book.


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Jun 07, 2016

No, Shepherd Oak, no! Listen to reason, shepherd. All that's the matter with me is the affliction called a multiplying eye, and that's how it is I look double to you-I mean, you look double to me.

Jun 07, 2016

When a strong woman recklessly throws away her strength she is worse than a weak woman who has never had any strength to throw away.

M_ALCOTT Sep 21, 2015

[Bathsheba Everdene, our 19th century Bachelorette. Just who will she give the final rose to? Will it be...]

Gabriel Oak: "I shall do one thing in this life--one thing certain--that is, love you, and long for you, and keep wanting you till I die."

William Boldwood: "My life is a burden without you. I want you--I want you to let me say I love you again and again!"

Francis "Frank" Troy: "Upon my heart, women will be the death of me!"


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FavouriteFiction Oct 03, 2009

Bathsheba Everdene decides that the best way to improve her station in life is to marry well. Her three suitors - the faithful shepherd Gabriel Oak, the lonely widower Farmer Boldwood, and the dashing but faithless Sergeant Troy vie for her affections.

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