Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
(Penguin Classics)

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The ending of Far From the Madding Crowd has a certain rightness to it, a symmetry that I found pleasing. It’s not super-romantic but it’s a far cry from the dreary despair of Jude the Obscure.
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Synopsis

Independent and spirited Bathsheba Everdene has come to Weatherbury to take up her position as a farmer on the largest estate in the area. Her bold presence draws three very different suitors: the gentleman-farmer Boldwood, soldier-seducer Sergeant Troy and the devoted shepherd Gabriel Oak. Each, in contrasting ways, unsettles her decisions and complicates her life, and tragedy ensues, threatening the stability of the whole community. The first of his works set in Wessex, Hardy's novel of swiftpassion and slow courtship is imbued with his evocative descriptions of rural life and landscapes, and with unflinching honesty about sexual relationships.
 

About Thomas Hardy

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Thomas Hardy was born on June 2, 1840. In his writing, he immortalized the site of his birth-Egdon Heath, in Dorset, near Dorchester. Delicate as a child, he was taught at home by his mother before he attended grammar school. At sixteen, Hardy was apprenticed to an architect, and for many years, architecture was his profession; in his spare time, he pursued his first and last literary love, poetry. Finally convinced that he could earn his living as an author, he retired from architecture, married, and devoted himself to writing. An extremely productive novelist, Hardy published an important book every year or two. In 1896, disturbed by the public outcry over the unconventional subjects of his two greatest novels-Tess of the D'Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure-he announced that he was giving up fiction and afterward produced only poetry. In later years, he received many honors. He died on January 11, 1928, and was buried in Poet's Corner, in Westminster Abbey. It was as a poet that he wished to be remembered, but today critics regard his novels as his most memorable contribution to English literature for their psychological insight, decisive delineation of character, and profound presentation of tragedy.
 
Published August 12, 2014 by McClelland & Stewart. 453 pages
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Dear Author

Good
Reviewed by Jennie on Oct 24 2015

The ending of Far From the Madding Crowd has a certain rightness to it, a symmetry that I found pleasing. It’s not super-romantic but it’s a far cry from the dreary despair of Jude the Obscure.

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