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Far from the Madding Crowd (Modern Library Classics) Paperback – December 11, 2001


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Product Details

  • Series: Modern Library Classics
  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Modern Library; Modern Library edition (December 11, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 037575797X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375757976
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #227,039 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Far from the Madding Crowd is the first of Thomas Hardy’s great novels, and the first to sound the tragic note
for which his fiction is best remembered.”
-Margaret Drabble

From the Inside Flap

Far from the Madding Crowd, Hardy's passionate tale of the beautiful, headstrong farmer Bathsheba Everdene and her three suitors, firmly established the thirty-four-year-old writer as a popular novelist. According to Virginia Woolf, "The subject was right; the method was right; the poet and the countryman, the sensual man, the sombre reflective man, the man of learning, all enlisted to produce a book which . . . must hold its place among the great English novels." Introducing the fictional name of "Wessex" to describe Hardy's legendary countryside, this early masterpiece draws a vivid picture of rural life in southwest England.

This Modern Library Paperback Classic is set from the 1912 Wessex edition and features Hardy's map of Wessex.


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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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A novel that should be required reading for all students.
NorthofCB
Bathsheeba Everdene is beautiful, headstrong, intelligent, but incurably vain; Farmer Oak falls in love with her immediately.
KH1
Hardy's classic style is a pleasure to read as he masterfully brings his characters and their dealings to life.
bookyeti

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

81 of 83 people found the following review helpful By Catherine S. Vodrey on May 24, 2002
Format: Paperback
This has to be my favorite of all Thomas Hardy's many classic works. "Far from the Madding Crowd" was published in 1874 when the novelist was 34 years old. It is one of the earliest works of English literature I can think of which has a fully rounded, fully independent, fully human female protagonist. Bathsheba Everdene runs a farm, is only semi-aware of her own extraordinary beauty, and is pursued by three very different men throughout the course of the book.
"Far from the Madding Crowd" may, in some sense, be the model for every cheapo drugstore romance novel ever written, but it is a classic for the very simple and very good reason that it transcends the genre it may have helped to start. Bathsheba's trials, in love and elsewhere, are completely realized, with terrific detail. Hardy has a powerful understanding of human nature and makes each of the characters both deep and broad, both simple and complex, both good and filled with fault. The result is a story with many characters, each of whom is as full-blooded and human as a reader could hope. It's a book which bears reading again and again, as each new reading shows the reader new detail and new depth not previously seen. A more three-dimensional character study may not exist in novel form--and the beauty of it is that all this terrific character examination is done against the backdrop of a wonderful plot as well. You really couldn't ask for a more richly satisfying novel.
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By bookyeti on September 13, 2003
Format: Paperback
Forget the infamous "love triangle". In Far from the Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy introduces us to the precarious "love square".
At the core of all the turmoil is beautiful farm girl, Bathsheba Everdene - spirited, vain, intelligent and adept at toying with the hearts of men. Inevitably beguiled by her charms a humble and kind farmer, Gabriel Oak, fervently attempts to win Bathsheba's affections. Enter the competition....
(suitor#2) Farmer Boldwood - a wealthy and temperate middle-aged man respected in the community, eventually plunges into maniacal obsession at the mere possibility of making the beloved Miss Everdene his wife; and (suitor#3) Sergeant Francis Troy - a dashing young philandering soldier, with his share of inner demons, ruthlessness and vanity, vies for Bathsheba's hand in marriage.
Bathsheba's ultimate decision, and the cataclysm it evokes, lies at the epicenter of Hardy's unforgettable ambivalent story.

"Far from the Madding Crowd", Thomas Hardy's fourth novel, saw publication in 1874 and earned him widespread popularity as a writer. A delicately woven tale of unrequited love and regret, set in the mid-19th century, "Far From the Madding Crowd" is a masterpiece of pure story-telling.
Hardy's classic style is a pleasure to read as he masterfully brings his characters and their dealings to life. I would not hesitate to say it definitely captured my heart as another favourite.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By NorthofCB on March 26, 2004
Format: Paperback
Hardy is not my favorite author by any stretch of the imagination, but this is a work of beauty. Unlike other Victorian works (like those of Jane), "Far From the Madding Crowd" leave the chattering jiberish of scheming aristocrats behind to focus on the drama of the country and the working class. Also, this novel explores the "Woman Question" of the day (place in society) and presents a strong willed lead that breaks many of the molds of the time. Loyalty, love, loss, and understanding are all very beautifully and strongly discussed as well. A novel that should be required reading for all students.
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Ritesh Laud on July 5, 2002
Format: Paperback
Not my typical fare, whether in classics or in modern literature. The beautiful heroine of this 19th century novel, Bathsheba Everdene (naming of characters evidently isn't one of Hardy's foremost strengths), is pursued by three men. Their personalities remind me of the movie "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly". Gabriel Oak is the Good dependable and reticent hero, Francis Troy is the Bad dashing soldier, and you find out towards the end that the handsome Farmer Boldwood is actually quite Ugly inside, though not Bad like Troy. Bathsheba is a somewhat unconventional woman for the time: confident in her ability to deal with men in matters of business, able to endure jarring emotional setbacks, and not afraid of confrontation. Naturally, since this is a romance novel the heroine must also possess some deeply feminine qualities: she's an emotional roller coaster, has a keen yearning to be desired, and feels great empathy for others' sorrows.
The characters' personalities and the numerous coincidences and accidental events that drive the plot all smack of "soap opera." The story may have been a groundbreaking achievement in its heyday, but today it just feels overused because many dramas, whether in novel or film form, recycle this work's themes and plot devices. However, Hardy displays extraordinary skill with the English language and I was delighted with his word choice numerous times throughout the novel. As an example, Hardy's way of describing a pocket watch whose hour hand is broken: "...though the minutes were told with precision, nobody could be quite certain of the hour they belonged to." Now imagine virtually everything in the settings described in witty fashion like that and you'll understand why the prose can be relished on its own merits, quite aside from the generally lackluster plot.
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