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The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy
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The Mayor of Casterbridge (original 1886; edition 2008)

by Thomas Hardy, Elliot Perlman (Introduction)

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5,56070776 (3.88)232
Member:arukiyomi
Title:The Mayor of Casterbridge
Authors:Thomas Hardy
Other authors:Elliot Perlman (Introduction)
Info:Signet Classics (2008), Mass Market Paperback, 400 pages
Collections:Finished 2012, 1001 books, Fiction, Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:None

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The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy (1886)

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English (67)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All languages (69)
Showing 1-5 of 67 (next | show all)
I first read The Mayor of Casterbridge as part of a summer reading program when I was about 15 years old . At that time I wasn’t much of a reader but the story stuck with me for 45 years! A voracious reader today, I rarely reread books (too many yet to read to waste time rereading), but decided ample time had passed to merit another go!

Loved it the second time around too! Despite the cumbersome 19th century discourse, the narrative flows effortlessly from one sub-plot to the next, engaging the reader in much the same way a TV soap opera does for a viewer.

And what soap opera! The drunkard Michael Henchard, having shamefully sold his wife and child to a sailor, turns his life around. Eighteen years later, just as he is about betroth his less than reputable girlfriend, who should show up but the abandoned wife and child. Henchard, now respectable, does the right thing and ‘marries’ her and truly seems to enjoy spoiling their lovely daughter, Elizabeth-Jane. Ah, but his happiness turns bitter when the wife dies and he finds a secret note confessing that Elizabeth-Jane is indeed the sailor’s progeny, their own offspring having died shortly after he deserted them. Feeling unloved, Elizabeth-Jane moves in with her step-father’s ex-girlfriend, Lucetta, whom she mistakenly believes is highborn. Lucetta, in the meantime has fallen for Henchard’s handsome, young protégé Mr. Farfrae, and whose affections she proceeds to steal from Elizabeth-Jane. Oh what a tangled web we weave!

Need I go on? You get the picture! If you are in the mood for a classic, The Mayor of Casterbridge is a fun one even though the prose is far removed from 21st century vernacular. ( )
  refice | Jun 12, 2015 |
after reading Tess I was intrigued but careful curious. This book moved a long just fine. Lots of story lines. Believable action of characters. Women more independent than in Tess. But again, very very tragic. ( )
  kakadoo202 | Apr 2, 2015 |
I've been wanting to finish this for quite a while and finally did it. What to make of it? It reads to me much like a soap opera with twists and turns of the social variety that prevent final resolution until the very end. However, I liked it. ( )
  aarondesk | Mar 19, 2015 |
Read 03-16-2015
  trexm5qp7 | Mar 17, 2015 |
While the Mayor of Casterbridge full of unlikely coincidence and thematic weightiness, these aspects aren't flaws at all, in my experience--instead they elevate the novel to the high drama of a classical Greek tragedy. ( )
  poingu | Jan 29, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (64 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Thomas Hardyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Allen, WalterAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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One evening of late summer, before the nineteenth century had reached one-third of its span, a young man and woman, the latter carrying a child, were approaching the large village of Weydon-Priors, in Upper Wessex, on foot.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0141439785, Paperback)

The Mayor of Casterbridge opens with an act of such heartlessness and cruelty that it still shocks today. Michael Henchard, an out-of-work hay-trusser, gets drunk at a fair and for five guineas sells his wife and child to a sailor. When the horror of his act finally sets in, Henchard swears he will not touch alcohol for twenty-one years. Through hard work and acumen, he becomes rich, respected, and eventually the mayor of Casterbridge. But eighteen years after his fateful oath, his wife and daughter, Elizabeth-Jane, return to Casterbridge, and his fortunes steadily decline.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:32 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

On a drunken impulse, Michael Henchard, a hay-trusser by trade, sells his wife Susan and their child to a sailor. Years later, Susan returns to Casterbridge a widow, to seek her legal husband who is, surprisingly, now the Mayor.

(summary from another edition)

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14 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141439785, 0141045175, 0141199598

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