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Far from the Madding Crowd (Modern Library Classics) Paperback – December 11, 2001
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“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.”
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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But the editing that went into the digital version of this classic is truly terrible. There are typos, and misspellings, missing punctuation and spacing. For three whole pages, I was baffled beyond words at the repeated use of the completely out-of-context word "toad", until I realized the word was supposed to be "road". Inexcusable. At several points, it felt like entire sentences were missing from the story, and several sentences ended so abruptly, I am almost positive there is more to it than what was printed on the page.
Never have I been so disappointed with a digital rendering of a complete work. There were so many unforgiveable mistakes, that there were days I could not even read the book, as much as I love the story. I 100% recommend this book to anyone who loves Hardy. But DO NOT purchase this version. Whoever edited this should be ashamed of themselves. "Professionally proofread," my foot.
Bathsheba Everdene inherits the large estate of Weatherby from his Uncle. Right before that she had been living with her aunt, where she meets a strong and up and coming sheep farming named Gabriel Oak who is utterly enchanted by Bathsheba. As she leaves to accept her inheritance poor Gabriel loses everything, almost his whole flock, and what we see, is how in his honorable way, he sells off the remaining flock to pay off his debts and set off to look for work. He is a wonderfully stalwart, honest and hardworking man. But he still dreams of Bathsheba. It turns out he ends up getting employed by Bathsheba to be the shepherd. And although Gabriel stays forever in love with her, he accepts his fate to never be romantic with her, but looks after her farm as a faithful servant. While Bathsheba, learns about running a farm, clearly something women are not known to do, she boldly takes on this task and becomes the talk of the town, as well the woman he most men in the town are smitten by.
There is a lot of wonderful writing in this story of Bathsheba at times showing her youth as she playfully but insensitively sends a valentine to her neighbor, who is madly in love with her. And I love this part of the story, because when she realizes what she's done, she actually grows up some and tries hard to let him down. Then she herself gets swept off her feet when meets the Sergeant Troy, the handsome, bad boy if you will, who charms ladies off their feet, but he is shallow and reckless. All the while Gabriel stays steadfast and there is a constant sweet tension between them that the author builds. Gabriel himself grows, letting go of her, which actually only begins to fuel Bathsheba's feelings for him, after all, she is used to every man being in love with her.
The book is written in an older English style, which is charming, but at times you may have to read some passages twice to make sure you understand it clearly, but all of that adds a charm that sweeps you away. This is a classic and a really great story.
I had seen this movie in the late 60's with my grandparents. Had no idea what it was about but it's a classic. I also ordered the paperback a few months ago and haven't gtten to it. But now I have it on audio so I hope I enjoy it.
Quite a different type of book subject from what I'm used to reading. Love all the descriptive details, makes me feel as if I am there.
Sexual scenes. Basheba Everdeen entices 3 men in her village.
A farmer Gabriel Oak falls in love with her but she is not in love with him. Liked hearing of the sheep and their routines and when Gabriel realizes something is amiss.
Love hearing of the bartering to get a shepherd's hook. He finds her in a nearby town where she's become a farm owner via her uncle. She's so head strong.
Soldier Frank Troy needs to have the marriage bands announced....
Landowner William Baldwill-it's rumored he was jilted at the alter and that's effected him in later years...
Baldwill wants to marry her but again she's not in love with him. Love the chat about molting and shearing of the wool from the sheep.
Like legacy of pocket watch!
I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device).
Bathsheeba Everdeen is a beautiful young woman with an independent spirit. She attracts the love of three men during the course of the story. She marries the least worthy of the three, and through her trials you get to see the real person underneath all of her pride. I didn't like her at the beginning, but by the end, I thought her a rather noble creature. I chuckled a little at Hardy's attempt at a happy ending. He just couldn't resist adding one more little sad note.
I love this quote, which gives us an insight into Bathsheeba's character at the beginning of the novel:
"There was no necessity whatever for her looking the glass. She did not adjust her hat, or pat her hair, or press a dimple into shape, or do one thing to signify that any such intention had been her motive in taking up the glass. She simply observed herself as a fair product of Nature in the feminine kind, her thoughts seeming to glide into far-off though likely dramas in which men would play a part - vistas of probable triumphs- the smiles being of a phase suggesting hearts were imagined as lost and won."
This was also a great description of a love-sick man:
"His dog waited for his meals in a way so like that in which Oak waited for the girl's presence, that the farmer was quite struck with the resemblance, felt it lowering, and would not look at the dog."