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Vendor: Random House
Publication Date: 1991
Dimensions: 8.31 X 5.38 X 1.24 (inches)
Series: Everyman's Library
Far From the Madding Crowd, published in 1874, is the book that made Hardy famous.
Bathsheba Everdene is a prosperous farmer in Hardys fictional Wessex county whose strong-minded independence and vanity lead to disastrous consequences for her and the three very different men who pursue her: the obsessed farmer William Boldwood, dashing and seductive Sergeant Frank Troy, and the devoted shepherd Gabriel Oak.
Despite the violent ends of several of its major characters, Far from the Madding Crowd is the sunniest and least brooding of Hardys great novels, as Bathsheba and her suitors move through a beautifully realized late-nineteenth-century agrarian landscape that is still almost untouched by the industrial revolution and the encroachment of modern life. With an introduction by Michael Slater
With Tess, Hardy clashed with the expectations of his audience; a storm of abuse broke over the "infidelity" and "obscenity" of this great novel he had subtitled "A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented." Jude the Obscure aroused even greater indignation and was denounced as pornography. Hardys disgust at the reaction to Jude led him to announce in 1869 that he would never write fiction ever again. He published Wessex Poems in 1898, Poems of the Past and Present in 1901, and from 1903 to 1908, The Dynast, a huge drama in which Hardy s conception of the Immanent Will, implicit in the tragic novels, is most clearly stated.
In 1912 Hardys wife, Emma died. The marriage was childless and had been a troubled one, but in the years after her death, Hardy memorialized her in several poems. At seventy-four he married his longtime secretary, Florence Dugdale, herself a writer of childrens books and articles, with whom he live happily until his death in 1928. His heart was buried in the Wessex Countryside; his ashes were placed next to Charles Dickenss in the Poets Corner of Westminster Abbey.