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Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
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Far from the Madding Crowd

by Thomas Hardy

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MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,485132461 (3.97)509
  1. 70
    Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (Booksloth)
  2. 30
    The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy (Porua)
    Porua: I would like to recommend another Thomas Hardy novel, The Return of the Native. When I first read The Return of the Native it kind of surprised me to see how very similar it is to Far from the Madding Crowd. They are very similar in their story lines, characterization and narrative style.… (more)
  3. 21
    Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy (Booksloth)
  4. 10
    Middlemarch by George Eliot (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: These 19th-century classics portray complex romantic relationships with vivid descriptions and a strong sense of place. With intricate, twisting plots, both offer their protagonists bleak outlooks that end in satisfying resolutions.
  5. 12
    York Notes on: FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD / Thomas Hardy by Thomas Hardy (Sylak)
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English (129)  French (1)  Swedish (1)  Dutch (1)  All (132)
Showing 1-5 of 129 (next | show all)
Far from the Madding Crowd is 10th on the The Guardian's poll of greatest love stories of all time. I did not find it as great as that. Yes, Bathsheba Everdene and Gabriel Oak are well realized characters, and Hardy's descriptions are evocative and detailed, but the plot did not grab me at all. I can appreciate a good classic romance now and then, but for some reason Far from the Madding Crowd lost my interest fairly quickly. Maybe it was the fact that Bathsheba kept shooting herself in the foot, so to speak, or the fact that every man she met fell madly in love with her. Whatever it was, I got bored with it fairly quickly, and only kept reading because of the character of Gabriel Oak.

I remember liking Hardy's Return of the Native in a college English class, so perhaps I simply rushed too quickly through Far from the Madding Crowd to appreciate it. In any case, I'll give Thomas Hardy another chance when I get to Tess of the D'Urbervilles on my Classics Club list.
  nsenger | Apr 9, 2017 |
Oh Hardy. An appreciation of the author was instilled firmly in myself and several classmates by the praise from a respected teacher. In my experience, Hardy novels are investments, not to be read in one quick go. His descriptions are always on-point and I sympathise so greatly with his simultaneous reverence for the pastoral past and understanding that rural life does not bring inherent goodness or a richer emotional life. That said, Gabriel Oak stands out for how little-flawed he is. I mean, he's fantastic, let's get that straight. He's beautiful on the page, and the image of Gabriel Oak appearing in the door with four lambs on shoulders is the stuff of fantasy. Meanwhile Bathsheba, our leading lady, makes wrong choices (one in particular had me actually saying, "No. NO. NOOOO.") and has faults but is given fair, human treatment by the narrative. She seems like the picture of Vanity to be Punished, and she does reform and lose that vanity through the course of the text, but I never felt that her vanity or (what the reader knows is) the poor choice she makes in the beginning, which so totally shapes everything that follows, are treated as unequivocally bad or immoral. Hardy generally portrays his characters in nuanced ways that resist singular or definitive judgement. It's what makes Gabriel's apparent faultlessness less satisfying. His failings are either on account of fate and misfortune or the fact that he's too good at adhering to social codes of propriety and respecting the wishes made by Bathsheba long before. Of course, all that said this book was a pleasure to read and much less depressing than any other Hardy I've read. ( )
  likecymbeline | Apr 1, 2017 |
This Victorian work is the first of Hardy's great novels. Its pastoral setting and independent heroine will win your heart, and you will find yourself cheering her on through all that life throws at her.
  mcmlsbookbutler | Feb 23, 2017 |
Why did I enjoy this story so much? Among other reasons, I could visualize easily the settings and the costumes of characters. Another reason I liked this story is that it kept me conjecturing how the human relationships--intense and serious--would resolve, even though from the start the end was quite predictable. It was the how that kept my interest. Loved this book. ( )
  jack2410 | Feb 2, 2017 |
Sometimes when I'm reading a classic, I don't understand everything or feel the emotions. That wasn't so with this one. Admittedly, I may not be feeling the correct emotions still. I didn't read this in school or study the meaning of anything (I just sped on through) so I may totally be wrong in what I got from it. Oh well. I had a good time reading.

In the beginning, I actually laughed out loud a few times. Was it meant to be funny? Hell if I know, but Gabriel Oak is such an awesome character. No matter what happens, he just keeps pushing steady forward in life. Bathsheba Everdene is such a girl. She has three men sniffing around, and of course she picks the looser. And the one semi-holding the #2 spot is a psycho stalker. Then, there's Oak just over there being all normal and moving on up in life while all this drama is going on. Some parts are probably meant to be sad, but I wasn't sadden a bit. I was just waiting to see what craziness these people would come up next. Ahh, good times.

I'll definitely be checking out more Thomas Hardy books in the future. ( )
  ToniFGMAMTC | Jan 19, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (56 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Thomas Hardyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dickerson, GeorgeIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Drabble, MargaretIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, JohnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
O'Toole, TessNotessecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, NormanIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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From wikipedia 19 Dec 2011 - Hardy took the title from Thomas Gray's poem 'Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard' (1751):
Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife
Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray;
Along the cool sequester'd vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.
Dedication
First words
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 chinks, and diverging wrinkles appeared round them, extending upon his countenance like the rays in a rudimentary sketch of the rising sun.
On 30 November 1872 a letter arrived at Thomas Hardy's isolated cottage in Dorset that must by any standards be considered astonishing. (Introduction)
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It appears that ordinary men take wives because possession is not possible without marriage, and that ordinary women accept husbands because marriage is not possible without possession; with totally differing aims the method is the same on both sides.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0141439653, Paperback)

Set in his fictional Wessex countryside in southwest England, Far from the Madding Crowd was Thomas Hardy's breakthrough work. Though it was first published anonymously in 1874, the quick and tremendous success of Far from the Madding Crowd persuaded Hardy to give up his first profession, architecture, to concentrate on writing fiction. The story of the ill-fated passions of the beautiful Bathsheba Everdene and her three suitors offers a spectacle of country life brimming with an energy and charm not customarily associated with Hardy.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:20 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Far From the Maddening Crowd, by Thomas Hardy, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:

  • New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars
  • Biographies of the authors
  • Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events
  • Footnotes and endnotes
  • Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work
  • Comments by other famous authors
  • Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations
  • Bibliographies for further reading
  • Indices & Glossaries, when appropriateAll editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works.

    The first of Thomas Hardy's great novels, Far From the Madding Crowd established the author as one of Britain's foremost writers. It also introduced readers to Wessex, an imaginary county in southwestern England that served as the pastoral setting for many of the author's later works. Far From the Madding Crowd tells the story of beautiful Bathsheba Everdene, a fiercely independent woman who inherits a farm and decides to run it herself. She rejects a marriage proposal from Gabriel Oak, a loyal man who takes a job on her farm after losing his own in an unfortunate accident. He is forced to watch as Bathsheba mischievously flirts with her neighbor, Mr. Boldwood, unleashing a passionate obsession deep within the reserved man. But both suitors are soon eclipsed by the arrival of the dashing soldier, Frank Troy, who falls in love with Bathsheba even though he's still smitten with another woman. His reckless presence at the farm drives Boldwood mad with jealousy, and sets off a dramatic chain of events that leads to both murder and marriage. A delicately woven tale of unrequited love and regret, Far from the Madding Crowd is also an unforgettable portrait of a rural culture that, by Hardy's lifetime, had become threatened with extinction at the hands of ruthless industrialization.

    Jonathan A. Cook has a B.A. from Harvard College and a Ph.D. from Columbia University. He is the author of Satirical Apocalypse: An Anatomy of Melville's The Confidence Man, and has published numerous articles on the works of Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and other nineteenth-century writers.… (more)

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2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141439653, 0141198931

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