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Far from the Madding Crowd (1874)

by Thomas Hardy

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
10,157179566 (3.97)626
'I shall do one thing in this life - one thing for certain - that is, love you, and long for you, and keep wanting you till I die.'Gabriel Oak is only one of three suitors for the hand of the beautiful and spirited Bathsheba Everdene. He must compete with the dashing young soldier Sergeant Troy and respectable, middle-aged Farmer Boldwood. And while their fates depend upon the choice Bathsheba makes, she discovers theterrible consequences of an inconstant heart.Far from the Madding Crowd was the first of Hardy's novels to give the name of Wessex to the landscape of south-west England, and the first to gain him widespread popularity as a novelist. Set against the backdrop of the unchanging natural cycle of the year, the story both upholds and questionsrural values with a startlingly modern sensibility. This new edition retains the critical text that restores previously deleted and revised passages.… (more)
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    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.
  3. 40
    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)
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    Lapsus_Linguae: Both novels feature a strong female protagonist trapped in an abusive marriage. Endings are also pretty similar.
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    Lapsus_Linguae: Both main heroines are strong-willed independent women who take up entrepreneurship.
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» See also 626 mentions

English (175)  Dutch (2)  French (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (179)
Showing 1-5 of 175 (next | show all)
Quite often I find classics can be tedious to read - the long winded and passive nature of the prose can make these works quite a slog. Not with FFTMC.

Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, full of vivid characters and an evocatively described picturesque setting, contrasting with the often gritty plot.

Bathsheba is a character who you're not sure if you support her or want her to suffer(!), but she actually feels like a modern character - an independent, spirited woman, flirting with different men (leading them on just a bit!). She wants the attention from the guys - even if she doesn't actually want to be with them. Ultimately this leads to issues for her later on in the book.

Overall, a great book, well worth a read.

( )
  soylee22 | Jun 21, 2022 |
I initially had trouble getting into the rhythm of reading "Far From the Madding Crowd." When I got the "hang of Hardy," I really enjoyed reading the book.
Miss Bathseba Everdene "scarcely knew the divinity’s name, Diana was the goddess whom Bathsheba instinctively adored. That she had never, by look, word, or sign, encouraged a man to approach her – that she had felt herself sufficient to herself, and had in the independence of her girlish heart fancied there was a certain degradation in renouncing the simplicity of a maiden existence to become the humbler half of an indifferent matrimonial whole – were facts now bitterly remembered."
After three men wanted to marry her, and one did, we were given the stories intertwined with that statement. They are stories that only Thomas Hardy can tell.
If you need a heroine, I give you Bathseba. "Deeds of endurance which seem ordinary in philosophy are rare in conduct, and Bathsheba was astonishing all around her now, for her philosophy was her conduct, and she seldom thought practicable what she did not practise. She was of the stuff of which great men’s mothers are made. She was indispensable to high generation, hated at tea parties, feared in shops, and loved at crises." ( )
  Pharmacdon | May 28, 2022 |
SPOILER ALERT...

OK, as we suspect at the outset, the good guy gets the girl in the end.
We could have cut to the chase and had these two married within hours of meeting each other as seems to be the custom in his stories... but then we'd be deprived of a great read..
Hardy as always, tells a good story, full of interesting characters in a wonderful rural setting.
And such a way with words..
That's three in a row after Tess and the Mayor and now onto the next.. ( )
  Bananaman | May 13, 2022 |
Reading as part of The Hardy reading group.

It is about Bathesheba and the 3 men who love her - Gabriel Oak, Mr Boldwood and Sergeant Troy. each have their own qualities but it is Gabriel who loves her first and always. She rejects his initial marriage proposal because she does not love him.

She comes to the attention of Boldwood, who has the farm next to her, after she sends him a Valentine's card partly in jest. Boldwood has difficulty accepting that she does not love him either, but gives her up when she becomes fascinated by Sergeant Troy, the educated soldier - fey in attachment, apart from drink, gambling and women as a whole - who is more in love with another woman but marries Bathsheba more for her money than anything. She soon learns her mistake and learns to hate him, especially when he keeps asking for money to go gambling.

His possible death by drowning opens her up to be courted by Boldwood again, who continues to pressure her into committing to marry him, even when he knows she doesn't love him. A party at Christmas has a detrimental effect on all concerned.

Finally, Gabriel, her one true love, gets his girl.

This is the fourth of his books and the one I've enjoyed the most so far. It has a more consistent narrative, with fewer breaks, even though I believe this was also released in serial form.

The descriptions of nature get better with this book. I believe the description of salvaging the crops during the storm is considered to be a classic scene of the genre.

Boldwood is a disconcerting and not very nice character, poor of social graces, who falls in love with a woman he's never talked to and virtually bullies her into committing to an engagement that she doesnt want. (Everyone agrees in the end that he's more than a little mad).

Troy is a glittering distraction, who can also manipulate women (but in a different way), playing on Bathesheba's insecurities in order to make her marry him immediately (she goes to Bath to talk to him and he "suggests" that he'll have to give in to chasing after some other pretty girl if she doesnt marry him immediately, so she does).

Gabriel is solid and steady, watching her make mistakes but never letting her down, even though he still loves her.

As for Bathesheba? I dont know about her. I think she grows up during this book, finally marrying the man we all know she should have in the first place. She manages to take care of her uncle's farm, even though some people think she wont and does realise her mistake in marrying Troy, especially the way she did it. ( )
  nordie | Apr 18, 2022 |
I didn't hate it. ( )
  rinila | Feb 25, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 175 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (52 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Thomas Hardyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Allingham, HelenIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dickerson, GeorgeIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Drabble, MargaretIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, JohnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marginter, PeterÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mathias, RobertCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
O'Toole, TessNotessecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, Nicholas GuyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, NormanIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
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)
Quotations
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.
It is difficult for a woman to define her feelings in language which is chiefly made by men to express theirs.
Bathsheba loved Troy in the way that only self-reliant women love when they abandon their self-reliance. When a strong woman recklessly throws away her strength she is worse than a weak woman who has never any strength to throw away. One source of her inadequacy is the novelty of the occasion. She has never had practice in making the best of such a condition. Weakness is doubly weak by being new.
... one who felt himself to occupy morally that vasgt middle space of Laodicean neutrality which lay between the Communion people of the parish and the drunken section... (p. 1)
But a resolution to avoid an evil is seldom framed till the evil is so far advanced as to make avoidance impossible. (p.125)
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Wikipedia in English (3)

'I shall do one thing in this life - one thing for certain - that is, love you, and long for you, and keep wanting you till I die.'Gabriel Oak is only one of three suitors for the hand of the beautiful and spirited Bathsheba Everdene. He must compete with the dashing young soldier Sergeant Troy and respectable, middle-aged Farmer Boldwood. And while their fates depend upon the choice Bathsheba makes, she discovers theterrible consequences of an inconstant heart.Far from the Madding Crowd was the first of Hardy's novels to give the name of Wessex to the landscape of south-west England, and the first to gain him widespread popularity as a novelist. Set against the backdrop of the unchanging natural cycle of the year, the story both upholds and questionsrural values with a startlingly modern sensibility. This new edition retains the critical text that restores previously deleted and revised passages.

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141439653, 0141198931

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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