The Mayor of Casterbridge

The Mayor of Casterbridge

eBook - 1998
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Blackwell North Amer
The Mayor of Casterbridge opens with an act of such heartlessness and cruelty that it still shocks today. Michael Henchard, an out-of-work hay-trusser, gets drunk at a fair and for five guineas sells his wife and child to a sailor. When the horror of his act finally sets in, Henchard swears he will not touch alcohol for twenty-one years. Through hard work and acumen, he becomes rich, respected, and eventually the mayor of Casterbridge. But eighteen years after his fateful oath, his wife and daughter, Elizabeth-Jane, return to Casterbridge, and his fortunes steadily decline.

Oxford University Press
Set against the backdrop of peaceful south-west England, where Thomas Hardy spent much of his youth, The Mayor of Casterbridge captures the author's unique genius for depicting the absurdity underlying much of the sorrow and humor in our lives.
In the stunning opening chapter of The Mayor of Casterbridge, a drunken hay-trusser, Michael Henchard, sells his wife and daughter for five guineas to a sailor. The book follows Henchard who, overcome by guilt after the sale of his wife, swears he will not have another drink of alcohol for twenty years. By hard work, he becomes a wealthy dealer in corn and hay, and eventually the mayor of Casterbridge. But after eighteen years, his wife and child Elizabeth-Jane return and, from this point on, his fortunes decline, in part through bad luck and in part through his own obstinate nature. In the end, his rival Farfrae has Henchard's business, his house, Lucretta, and he even becomes mayor of Casterbridge. Henchard eventually dies in a miserable hut on Egdon Heath.
This special edition of The Mayor of Casterbridge features a splendid introduction by fiction writer Rick Moody, who calls Hardy's classic "the first great novel about alcoholism."

Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1998
ISBN: 9781429403672
Characteristics: 1 online resource (lii, 403 pages) : map
Additional Contributors: Kramer, Dale 1936-


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Jan 17, 2019

Thomas Hardy wrote a masterpiece when he wrote the Mayor of Casterbridge. It is a classic tragedy novel and it depicts the lesson of what goes around comes around. Thomas’s novel is one of the most powerful novels, because of its beginning scene of cruelty when Michael Henchard (the novel’s protagonist) in a drunken rage unexpectedly sold his wife and his baby daughter, for five guineas at a country fair to a sailor. The next day, Henchard regrets the horrors he has done, and tries to search for his wife and his daughter with little success. When he enters a church, he kneels before an altar and makes an oath to give up drinking for twenty-one years. Eighteen years later, Henchard rises to fame as a successful mayor of the fictional town of Casterbridge, but he possesses a very dark secret. He spends most of the novel trying to fix his wrongs of long ago and turn them into rights. Henchard is not your average novel hero. I ached for Henchard’s character, who was desperately seeking redemption, but it seems he just can’t defeat his own downfall, his own human emotion of anger, jealously, and rivalry, which conquered him. This book is a must read! 5 out of 5 stars. @janmarrow1225 of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board

loops____ Dec 12, 2017

This novel served as my introduction to the work of Thomas Hardy. The writing style was brilliant. The voice of the narrator was distinct and acted as a humorous, yet insightful commentary on the strengths and shortcomings of the characters as key events unfolded. The clarity of the characters' motivations combined with the domino-like consequences of their actions made this an engaging and memorable story.

Aug 21, 2015

A powerful, moving tale of a remarkable man who overcomes his very humble beginnings and despite a shameful foolish act of his youth, rises to a position of respectability in his community as well as considerable wealth. Yet in the end, he succumbs to his inner demons and fatal flaws of character and utterly destroys all that he had achieved. Despite its archaic style and dated setting, the book hold one's attention right through to its inevitable tragic end.

Jul 16, 2015

A portrait of unconditional despair. The erosion to oblivion of a man.
Lacks maps, notes, and glossary for regionalisms and obsolescent words and phrases (the library should've ordered the Penguin Classics edition).

Aug 24, 2012

AMAZING CLASSIC!!!!! once you get used to the style of writing it proves to be an unforgettable read. loved the wife selling scene

Sep 07, 2010

The ultimate who done it. Written as a newspaper weekly series. Old english...I didn't guess the ending correctly!

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