Far From The Madding Crowd

Far From The Madding Crowd

by Thomas Hardy

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Far From the Madding Crowd was the first of Hardy’s novels to give the name of Wessex to the landscape of south-west England and is set against the backdrop of the unchanging natural cycle of the year. The story both upholds and questions rural values with a startlingly modern sensibility.
Gabriel Oak is only one of three suitors for the hand of the beautiful and spirited Bathsheba Everdene. He must compete with the dashing young soldier Sergeant Troy and respectable, middle-aged Farmer Boldwood. And while their fates depend upon the choice Bathsheba makes, she discovers the terrible consequences of an inconstant heart.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9788834148136
Publisher: kerry butters
Publication date: 06/28/2019
Series: Literary Fiction Collection
Sold by: StreetLib SRL
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) is best known for his novels, Far from the Madding Crowd (1874), Return of the Native (1878), The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886), Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1891), and Jude the Obscure (1895), which was denounced as morally objectionable. Hardy, disgusted with this reaction, declared he would never write fiction again and devoted the rest of his literary career to poetry.

Date of Birth:

June 2, 1840

Date of Death:

January 11, 1928

Place of Birth:

Higher Brockhampon, Dorset, England

Place of Death:

Max Gate, Dorchester, England


Served as apprentice to architect James Hicks

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Far from the Madding Crowd 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 63 reviews.
EdnaMole More than 1 year ago
I picked up Far From the Madding Crowd in my quest to read more classic literature. It took quite awhile for me to work my way through this book. I almost quit reading it several times. The writing style definitely takes some concentration. I felt more comfortable with the 'prose' after about ten chapters of reading. Some of the sentences stretch on for an entire paragraph (which takes some getting used to). The next sentence is a typical example of the sentence structure: "For dreariness nothing could surpass a prospect in the outskirts of the city of Melchester at a later hour on this same snowy evening - if that may be called a prospect of which the chief constituent was darkness." This book is not for the average modern reader.
Big_Willy More than 1 year ago
When I started reading this book, many people commented that they made a movie from it. I was starting the book at the time and thought, "Really?", because the first chapters are rather slow with few interesting parts. Thank goodness I don't give up on books I start because this tale of a sheep herder, a girl whom he falls in love, and their interwoven lives within a rural English farming town (including a classic English gentlemen) was superbly captivating. I also liked the overarching theme that failures in life, though dark and fearful, can be the commencement of something greater and better for someone in the future.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I stumbled on this book in a small public library. After reading several chapters, I ordered it as I knew I would want a copy permanently on my bookshelf. This book is superb. The descriptions of the 19th century country side are crafted as only a master could. I savoured this novel and the tale has continued to haunt me. I probably would not have enjoyed it in my younger days but now relished the impressions Hardy paints for us of time and place. I highly recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I greatly enjoyed this novel, not so much for its stark stoicism, but rather for the array of characters who make the book one to remember. Hardy does an excellent job of building his characters, making them dynamic in many respects, while retaining a certain sense of humaness and realism. 'Far from the Madding Crowd' is a novel that you can read time and time again; I highly recommend it for readers who love 19th century British lit, the works of Emily and Charlotte Bronte, or Dickens.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For Academic Decathlon this year, our book of study was Far From the Madding Crowd. Though I didn't particularly enjoy it my first time reading it through, I have to come to really appreciate it for what it is. Hardy's characters come alive, and you feel as though you are sometimes at one with the characters in the story. An excellent read for anyone with some patience.
DonnaB317 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lovely, simply lovely. I was enchanted by all the characters, and just amazed that this was one story where I really could not see the plot coming down the street waving flags and yelling "Here I come!" like most stories these days. The story floored me and kept me glued till the end. I loved it!
atimco on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Thomas Hardy is one of those authors whose works I do enjoy ¿ but grudgingly. His strong descriptive powers, well-written characters, and interesting plots are all points in his favor. But there is something dark running in the vein below, a grimness that I find disturbing. As the back of this audiobook copy of Far From The Madding Crowd would have it, Hardy's sense of inevitable human tragedy was already manifesting itself in this tale. Far From The Madding Crowd tells the story of Bathsheba Everdene, a beautiful and independent young woman who is sought by three very different suitors. Gabriel Oak is the first man to fall in love with her, and after her rejection he falls upon hard times and is forced to seek work as a shepherd. Of course it is Bathsheba who eventually hires him. Her second suitor is one Farmer Boldwood, a moody and passionate man who is awakened to Bathsheba's charms by a foolish Valentine's Day card she sends him, quite in jest. And the third is a dashing officer, Sergeant Francis Troy, who is as captivating and handsome as he is selfish.Hardy really takes the time to set up his characters, and they are all very well written. Bathsheba in particular is a fascinating creation. In some ways she is quite a little feminist, having no inducement to the marriage state in the abstract that would tempt her to seize the chance when it is offered her. And after she catches her bailiff stealing, Bathsheba is determined to run her inherited farm herself ¿ an unprecedented act for a woman in that time. But Hardy was something of a misogynist, and often peppers his narrative with derogatory comments about the female sex. One such example is this:"'It was not exactly the fault of the hut,' she observed in a tone which showed her to be that novelty among women ¿ one who finished a thought before beginning the sentence which was to convey it."Or this:"When women are in a freakish mood, their usual intuition, either from carelessness or inherent defect, seemingly fails to teach them this, and hence it was that Bathsheba was fated to be astonished today."Everything sensible and strong and intelligent about Bathsheba ¿ and she is all of these things, despite her many faults ¿ is presented as an aberration in her sex. I don't like to judge works by the standards of a different time, but I certainly was occasionally annoyed with this misogyny. Other times, once I understood Hardy was like that, it amused more than offended me. Hardy's deep cynicism is not just directed toward women. God comes in for a fair share of the blame; Boldwood's disastrous encounters with Troy are called "Heaven's persistent irony" toward him. It is the gargoyles on the church, monstrosities sanctioned by religion, that are responsible for the horrific accident that disfigures Fanny's grave. Because of this mutilation, Troy's half-formed good resolutions produced by Fanny's death are instantly dashed, and the fault laid at Heaven's door:"To turn about would have been hard enough under the greatest providential encouragement; but to find that Providence, far from helping him into a new course, or showing any wish that he might adopt one, actually jeered his first trembling and critical attempt in that kind, was more than nature could bear."Apparently it is God's fault for not preventing this accident from occurring, for not helping this near-penitent on his new road. Indeed, it is almost as if God wants Troy to be damned and takes active steps to ensure that it is so. This is classic Hardy. And yet religion is not portrayed in a uniformly bad light; Gabriel is observed by Bathsheba in the very act of kneeling in prayer, in direct contrast to her agitated and rebellious frame of mind. The reader is left with the idea that this bedtime prayer is a ritual of Gabriel's, and that it has a not inconsiderable share in helping him face his troubles calmly and with dignity. The focus here is on the man, however, and not t
carmelitasita29 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love the way Thomas Hardy writes, so lush and evocative. This book is about a young woman with a very great sense of herself and loses it in a fit of emotion, and the man who loves her steadfastly and honestly with no strings attached. Wonderful book. I could read Hardy all day long.
Luli81 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another great discovery ! I loved this classic, it's different from what I read before. A good portrait of the English Society, its stiff and untolerant rules against a patient soul but with a will unvincible. One of the best of the year!
nigeyb on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It's a classic innit? It really is though. I'd forgotten just how good this is. The best thing is the way it evokes rural life in the West Country in the late 18th century. Marvellous and, unusually for Hardy, with a feel good ending.
hemlokgang on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love Thomas Hardy's writing, as long as I continually remind myself to remain in the period. Bathsheba, the "heroine", as the author refers to her, is not exactly a role model for women of any period in my opinion. Of course, the men are driven mad, literally, by her spirit and beauty, and she remains insensitive, flighty, and totally impulse driven until the climax when she miraculously sees the error of her ways. I really like Gabriel Oak, my hero.
uhhlanna on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fantastic read! A really challenging and rewarding book--a perfect example of advanced, proficient use of archaic language. Hardy's mastery of the English vocabulary is inspiring, but it took a lot of concentration to read.
jq09cn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
All the story describe a shepherd. Gabriel Oak,whose love for Bathsheba is quiet and steady .He still loves Bathsheba from begin to the end .Before they didi not get together ,but at the end they get married .So what event makes them get married at last is the most important event .Oka loves Bathsheba ,but she did not love him before ,and she gets married with a handsome young soldier Troy.Before Troy met Bathsheba,he had a fiancee,who is Troy¿s most love person .But when they have a wedding , the bride was late ,so Troy canceled their wedding After Troy and Bath sheba get married .Troy see that girl again ,but that girl died at the second day ,so Troy very sad ,and fall into river .Every body think he is died .So Bathsheba get married with a middle-aged man Boldwood ,who has never been in love before . .On their wedding ,Troy appears.So Bathsheba does not want get married with Boldwood .It makes Boldwood very angry , and he kills Troy. The result is Troy died and Blodwood go to prison. At the end,Bathsheba¿s love is Dak , only he accompany with she .So they get married
soniaandree on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The love story of Bathsheba and Gabriel Oak the shepherd takes a long time to come to a happy conclusion. There are class prejudices and pride in the way of their happiness and Bathsheba will learn to overcome her moral issues through a series of unhappy events.The chapters are divided in twelve (as the original publication was published in twelve, monthly, episodes), following the course of a year and following seasonal changes too. This lends a more realist touch to a tale that could just be very fictional (Wessex county is imaginary).In any case, the language is simple, easy to understand and the chapters are rather short. I just wish the OUP editors would include the original Allingham pictures with the text, as they lend a more dramatic illustration to key events.
Renz0808 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy centers on young Bathsheba Everdene, a strong fiery independent woman who has come into the good fortune of inheriting a farm in Hardy¿s Wessex. She will not allow herself to become dependent on a man and resolves to take care of her own farm and business. Bathsheba is also (of course) extremely beautiful and she knows this but is also very inexperienced in the ways of love and for the most part men. She is courted by three very different men, the first being Gabriel Oaks, who has the misfortune of losing his own farm in an accident, he contents himself by becoming the main shepherd on Bathsheba¿s farm and helping her in any way that he can even though she has declared to him that she does not love him or can never marry him because of the position he is in. The second man is Mr. Boldwood an older man, who owns the farm next to Bathsheba, he allows himself to become completely enamored with her and she becomes his only reason for living. The last man is a Sergeant Troy, who is young and very like Bathsheba in temperament and personality. These three men set the pace for the rest of the novel that takes readers on an emotional roller-coaster of plot twists and sub plots. This is the first Thomas Hardy novel that I have read and I was not sure what to expect. I have read very mixed reviews of his work and I was not sure how I was going to like this book. I have to admit that I liked it a lot more than I thought I would. I think the strongest aspect of this book is the fact that all of the main characters have faults that readers can identify with even to this day. Bathsheba is really a woman before her time, she just wants to make a mark on the world and she is very ambitious and her main fault is her vanity. She is really like almost every woman I know, she just wants to be told that she is beautiful but at the same time she wants to be independent. It is easy to imagine her and identify with her; she really is one of the most honest characters I have read in a long time. Similarly, the three main men who compete for Bathsheba¿s attentions all have their faults. Gabriel Oaks is probably the most honest, hardworking, steadfast man in the novel but at the same time he is also a little boring and not super cultured. Mr. Boldwood takes his passion for Bathsheba to desperate levels, and is subject to dark and changing moods. As for Sergeant Troy, he is a rake, scoundrel and at times a cad. Overall, at times the story could move slowly but I thought that for the most part it flowed well and kept my attention. I will be looking forward to reading later novels by Thomas Hardy to compare with this one.
nordie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Reading as part of The Hardy reading group. It is about Bathesheba and the 3 men who love her - Gabriel Oak, Mr Boldwood and Sergeant Troy. each have their own qualities but it is Gabriel who loves her first and always. She rejects his initial marriage proposal because she does not love him. She comes to the attention of Boldwood, who has the farm next to her, after she sends him a Valentine's card partly in jest. Boldwood has difficulty accepting that she does not love him either, but gives her up when she becomes fascinated by Sergeant Troy, the educated soldier - fey in attachment, apart from drink, gambling and women as a whole - who is more in love with another woman but marries Bathsheba more for her money than anything. She soon learns her mistake and learns to hate him, especially when he keeps asking for money to go gambling. His possible death by drowning opens her up to be courted by Boldwood again, who continues to pressure her into committing to marry him, even when he knows she doesn't love him. A party at Christmas has a detrimental effect on all concerned. Finally, Gabriel, her one true love, gets his girl.This is the fourth of his books and the one I've enjoyed the most so far. It has a more consistent narrative, with fewer breaks, even though I believe this was also released in serial form.The descriptions of nature get better with this book. I believe the description of salvaging the crops during the storm is considered to be a classic scene of the genre. Boldwood is a disconcerting and not very nice character, poor of social graces, who falls in love with a woman he's never talked to and virtually bullies her into committing to an engagement that she doesnt want. (Everyone agrees in the end that he's more than a little mad).Troy is a glittering distraction, who can also manipulate women (but in a different way), playing on Bathesheba's insecurities in order to make her marry him immediately (she goes to Bath to talk to him and he "suggests" that he'll have to give in to chasing after some other pretty girl if she doesnt marry him immediately, so she does). Gabriel is solid and steady, watching her make mistakes but never letting her down, even though he still loves her. As for Bathesheba? I dont know about her. I think she grows up during this book, finally marrying the man we all know she should have in the first place. She manages to take care of her uncle's farm, even though some people think she wont and does realise her mistake in marrying Troy, especially the way she did it.
theboylatham on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago


The mainspring of the book centres around Bathsheba Everdene and her three suitors. And, in portraying her caprice and wilfulness gradually crushed by bitter self-knowledge and rejection.

jayne_charles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was made to read this in English Literature at school when I was 14. Absolutely hated it, so full of flowery language that I skipped whole sections and completely missed the story. I came back to it when attempting to read through the BBC Big Read top 200 at the age of 34. I really wasn't looking forward to it, but of course this time round I loved it. Yes, Hardy is quite verbose, but this is basically a very good story, with characters you can warm to. At the age of 14 I was made to write an essay on whether or not Gabriel Oak is a too-good-to-be-true caricature. Asked that question now, I would say yes of course he is... and I don't care a bit.
LyzzyBee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Bought 1980s, read for the Hardy Reading ProjectA truly amazing book: rich, beautiful writing and a page turner. A big step forward in his writing, I felt. Proud Bathsheba thinks she can outwit love but is floored bu it; her suitors have very different fates from one another and the landscape, the stars and the animals provide a wonderful backdrop. The local farmhands are done with a lighter touch; still comical but not so laboured, somehow, and there are some beautiful scenes, for example Gabriel's observation of the movement of the stars. My favourite quotation was another bird-related one: "No Christmas robin detained by a window-pane ever pulsed as did Bathsheba now" (p. 247).I studied this for O level but had forgotten the story, although certain rather random scenes and descriptions, such as Gabriel's face and the round hill he stands upon, were very familiar. Truly a privilege and a joy to re-read this book.
lorraineh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
WellIts a fable in my opinion that says the 'steady reliable' man will win a fair maidens hand in the long run.It reads and feels like a penguin classic novel. I can imagine all the 15 yrs old pawing over the language and clever pieces of prose.Me - well I thought it was ok but I must say that the latter third of the book I even enjoyed. Its perfect for those of you who like a clever use of language and lots of smart descriptions. If you like me who are so keen on such things then it can be hard work at times
alebel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Loved it!! I thought this was so much better than Jude the Obscure. It took me a couple of chapters to really get into. By the middle of the book I couldn't put it down. A challenge to read because of the language and it does get pretty wordy in terms of Hardy¿s description of the scenery and all... Definitely worth it though. Highly recommend to all ages.
strandbooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I found this to be one of the least depressing Thomas Hardy books I've read. It is set in an idyllic pastoral setting in England, and follows Batsheba, a beautiful independent farmer that has 3 men completly in love with her. Of course, being a Hardy novel there are some dark melodramatic moments. I didn't like it as much as Jude the Obscure, but worth the read.
multilingualmaid on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a classic tale of English country life and of a young woman who makes some very bad (or perhaps just thoughtless) decisions regarding the men in her life. Bathsheba Everdene is courted by three men: a simple yet honest farmer whom she feels is not good enough for her, a reclusive neighbor whom she feels obligated to marry, and a dashing but untrustworthy sergeant who brings her great grief.In many respects I highly enjoyed this novel. An admitted fan of classic literature, I loved the beautifully descriptive vocabulary and the richness of Hardy's allusions. He truly brings his setting and characters to life. I also enjoyed the simple country characters and their various idiosyncrasies. However, I was at times irritated by Miss Everdene's seeming lack of discernment in her personal life, when she seemed to have such a good understanding of business and life in general. But it is through Miss Everdene¿s character that the author shows us the consequences and possible miseries of hasty decisions and thoughtless words. At the end, the novel seems to come full circle and leaves readers with a fairly happy ending although it is mostly a bittersweet journey up to that point.
edwardsgt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this many years ago and it is one of Hardy's best novels.
soylentgreen23 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of the things to put me off classical literature - much as I love it really - is that so much seems contrived. A character disappears, is forgotten about, and returns at a critical juncture, changing the course of the story. Two characters, who seem to have nothing in common, actually do, and then it's something really strange and unlikely that unites them. Basically, it's like "Lost" writ large.Hardy, one of the Romantics, was guilty of many of the crimes I list above, though he cannot be blamed for what was taken so seriously for so long. "Far From the Madding Crowd" is spoilt by these contrivances; it is still worth reading as an early feminist novel (though written by a man it concerns the life and loves of one woman), and if you are interested in the English countryside you'll find this fascinating.