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The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy

The Mayor of Casterbridge (original 1886; edition 2008)

by Thomas Hardy, Elliot Perlman (Introduction)

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5,40962802 (3.87)212
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

Work details

The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy (1886)

  1. 30
    Les Misérables by Victor Hugo (ncgraham)
    ncgraham: Both stories of men who commit public crimes ... and yet the outcomes are very different.
  2. 20
    The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (chrisharpe, kxlly)
  3. 20
    Silas Marner by George Eliot (kxlly)
  4. 10
    Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy (John_Vaughan)

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English (61)  Dutch (1)  All languages (62)
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
Such beautiful writing and an unusual story. There is simply no way to know how it will end so you know you have to finish quickly.
( )
  Benedict8 | Jul 16, 2014 |
A truly outstanding book, and perhaps my favorite work of 19th century British literature.

The author's style is engaging, with interesting story lines and character development that flow seamlessly throughout. Mr. Hardy has that rare ability to capture the reader's attention and maintain it with wonderfully intertwined twists and turns that make for a compelling novel.

Highly recommended. ( )
  la2bkk | Apr 24, 2014 |
Truly a triumph of Hardy's later works. Despite each of the main characters' personality flaws, one cannot help but become attached to their outcomes and trials. Hardy proves his mastery of the human condition in literature within the pages of this book, showing readers the perils of being obstinate, jealous, and vengeful. In contrast, readers are also shown how life can be nothing but misery for those who are meek and remain quiet when ill-treated. I do not agree that this is a parable regarding the evils of alcohol, as Michael Henchard, the main character, is not suffering because of his past drunkenness or due to the effects of remaining sober before returning to drink. This is a novel about human character and there is no teetotaller messages to be found. There really is not a dull moment throughout this novel and the parallels between the time periods are similar enough to keep even strictly anti-"Classics" readers entertained. ( )
  hovercraftofeels | Jan 17, 2014 |
The ending reduced me to tears. ( )
  potterhead9.75 | Jan 5, 2014 |
Set almost entirely in a town, this novel seems to have fewer of Hardy's lyrical descriptive passages than other of his works I have read. The story reminded my of the Greek tragedies - despite all good intentions, the main character Michael Henchard is doomed by his very personality.

The book opens with Henchard getting drunk and selling his wife and child to a stranger. He regrets this once he sobers up but it is too late. Years later, when he has become successful & is mayor, his wife returns with her daughter. His life goes downhill from this point. Henchard's fiery temper and somewhat proud temperment lead him into situations that his better nature regrets every time it seems like he might get things going his way again. For example, his lie to the sailor Newsom about Elizabeth-Jane being dead is ridiculous (and he knows it) but he can't bear to admit to either the sailor or Elizabeth-Jane that he needs her.
( )
  leslie.98 | Jun 26, 2013 |
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:43:54 -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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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141439785, 0141045175, 0141199598

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An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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