HomeGroupsTalkExploreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Mayor of Casterbridge (Wordsworth Classics)…
Loading...

Mayor of Casterbridge (Wordsworth Classics) (original 1886; edition 1998)

by Thomas Hardy (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,442102929 (3.9)324
One of Hardy's most powerful novels, "The Mayor of Casterbridge" opens with a shocking and haunting scene: In a drunken rage, Michael Henchard sells his wife and daughter to a visiting sailor at a local fair. When they return to Casterbridge some nineteen years later, Henchard--having gained power and success as the mayor--finds he cannot erase the past or the guilt that consumes him. "The Mayor of Casterbridge" is a rich, psychological novel about a man whose own flaws combine with fate to cause his ruin. This Modern Library Paperback Classic reprints the authoritative 1912 Wessex edition, as well as Hardy's map of Wessex.… (more)
Member:Mati97
Title:Mayor of Casterbridge (Wordsworth Classics)
Authors:Thomas Hardy (Author)
Info:Wordsworth Editions Ltd (1998), Edition: New Ed, 288 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:None

Work Information

The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy (1886)

  1. 50
    Les Misérables by Victor Hugo (ncgraham)
    ncgraham: Both stories of men who commit public crimes ... and yet the outcomes are very different.
  2. 40
    Silas Marner by George Eliot (kxlly)
  3. 20
    The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (chrisharpe, kxlly)
  4. 21
    Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy (John_Vaughan)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 324 mentions

English (100)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All languages (102)
Showing 1-5 of 100 (next | show all)
A teacher recommended it to me in school. Read it. Didn't understand what all the fuss was about. Convinced my teacher must've had a reason tried a few more Hardy's. Never quite got it ( )
  deepatarak | Jun 29, 2021 |
This was an interesting book. I'm not sure why it is, that this book full of twists and turns and misery in relations kept my attention and felt like a page turner where others did not.

I was rather shocked to read that a man sells his wife and daughter. It was interesting to read what all came after that and how things ended for those involved in the end.

Possibly it was because Henchard, Farfrae and Newson were quite interesting characters, well worked out and well interacting with one another. ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Sep 28, 2020 |
This is the first Hardy novel I'm giving four stars instead of five. It's a pity, because for much of the book, I felt like this was the best Hardy novel I'd yet read. Henchard is a wonderfully complex character, swinging between the influences of his demons and his angels. He's both generous and stingy, kind and cruel, humble and vain, wise and foolish. He rises to greatness because of his willingness to work hard and his simple, honest dealings with his fellow men. But, his honesty is also what leads him to ruin. When a figure from his past returns to reveal the greatest sin of his life, he doesn't deny the truth of her words, though he's a prominent citizen who's word would be believed over that of the drunken, slovenly woman who accuses him. In his bankruptcy, his creditors try to leave him some resources, like his gold pocket watch, but he leaves them to go sell the watch and give the money to one of the poorer lenders that he still owes.

He desperately wants love and companionship, but his temper and inability to disguise his feelings drive everyone away from him.

The plot is full of twists that keep you turning the page, and the supporting cast is well drawn.

The sour spot for me--and I guess I should warn this is a spoiler, though I'm not sure spoiler warnings are relevant for a book this old--comes late in the book when the real father of his adopted daughter, Elizabeth Jane, shows up. Henchard, afraid of losing the last person in the world who loves him, immediately lies and tells the real father than his daughter is dead. Hardy justifies this reasonably well, taking us deep into Henchard's motives for doing so, but I still felt that his contradicted the central truth he established about Henchard in ever page before, which was that he wouldn't lie even if the truth would cost him dearly. Though, in fairness, while Henchard wouldn't lie when directly confronted with the truth, there are numerous occasions beforehand where he conspires to hide the truth without actually advancing a falsehood, such as not revealing to Elizabeth Jane that she's not his natural daughter. So, perhaps Hardy felt like he'd done enough to establish Henchard as capable of this one big lie.

In the end, I felt like this book ended on a tragic note for no other purpose than Hardy wanted it to end on a tragic note. With Tess of the D'Ubervilles, I felt like the character's tragic end was a condemnation of the prevailing morality of his day. The tragic end of Jude the Obscure seems to be a powerful illustration of the injustice of class and poverty. I'm less certain what lesson I'm supposed to take from Henchard's fall.

I still think it's a book that belongs on the shelf of any well-read person, but I'd recommend starting with other Hardy novels before tackling this one. ( )
  James_Maxey | Jun 29, 2020 |
Michael Henchard is one of my favorite protagonists (second only to Thomas Sutpen, with John Yossarian a close third). A beautifully constructed and fully realized character. ( )
  BeauxArts79 | Jun 2, 2020 |
There is so much to enjoy in this book from the moment Henchard sells his wife for 5 guineas. The reader knows that this act will come back to haunt the hero as it does time and time again. It is a tragedy that there is a flaw in a make up of the hero. The deteriorating relationship between Henchard and Farfrae is excellent too, the wheel of fortune turning. The ending is stark and sad but expected. Its is just a brilliant book. ( )
  jon1lambert | Jun 1, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 100 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (132 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hardy, Thomasprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Allen, Walter ErnestAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Caless, BrynContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chevallier Taylor, AlbertCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dillon, DianeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dillon, LeoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gregor, IanIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ingham, PatriciaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
O'Brien, TimCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilson, KeithEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Is contained in

Has the adaptation

Has as a study

Has as a student's study guide

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
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.
There is a peculiar commerce in Hardy's novels between fact and fiction, idea and image, that makes them elusive to criticism. (Introduction)
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

One of Hardy's most powerful novels, "The Mayor of Casterbridge" opens with a shocking and haunting scene: In a drunken rage, Michael Henchard sells his wife and daughter to a visiting sailor at a local fair. When they return to Casterbridge some nineteen years later, Henchard--having gained power and success as the mayor--finds he cannot erase the past or the guilt that consumes him. "The Mayor of Casterbridge" is a rich, psychological novel about a man whose own flaws combine with fate to cause his ruin. This Modern Library Paperback Classic reprints the authoritative 1912 Wessex edition, as well as Hardy's map of Wessex.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.9)
0.5 5
1 16
1.5 4
2 55
2.5 10
3 260
3.5 75
4 477
4.5 63
5 336

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141439785, 0141045175, 0141199598

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

» Publisher information page

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 164,511,381 books! | Top bar: Always visible