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Far from the Madding Crowd (Oxford World's Classics) [Paperback]

Thomas Hardy , Suzanne B. Falck-Yi , Simon Gatrell
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Paperback, 3 Jan 1998 --  

Book Description

3 Jan 1998 019283391X 978-0192833914 New edition
Far from the Madding Crowd was the first of Hardy's novels to apply the name of Wessex to the landscape of south west England, and the first to gain him widespread popularity as a novelist. When the beautiful and spirited Bathsheba Everdene inherits her own farm, she attracts three very different suitors: the seemingly commonplace, man-of-the-soil Gabriel Oak, the dashing young soldier, Francis Troy, and the respectable, middle-aged Farmer Boldwood. Her choice, and the tragedy it provokes, lie at the centre of Hardy's ambivalent story. This edition presents a new text of the novel restoring several manuscript passages never before published with the novel, and many of the 1901 revisions missing from nearly all modern versions.

Product details

  • Paperback: 514 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks; New edition edition (3 Jan 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019283391X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192833914
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 14 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,117,395 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book with fantastic characters! 13 July 2003
By A Customer
I thought that Far From the Madding Crowd was a really good book. It was the first novel by Thomas Hardy that I had read and it encouraged me to read some more of his works.
It is my favourite novel at the moment. I liked it so much because of the fantastic way in which characters are created and established. They are given such strong personalities, like Bathsheba Everdene, that it helps you become swept up in the action.
Far From the Madding Crowd is a novel about a country romance. A beautiful and interesting young woman is caught in a love triangle with three very different men. The first is the honourable and steady Gabriel Oak, who loves Bathsheba and is obviously fated to be with her, even though he seems quite her opposite. There is Farmer Bolwood who becomes obsessed with Bathsheba after she sends him a valentine, he is upstanding yet passive and we watch him drive painfully on to his undeserved end. Then there is the debonare Sargent Troy, who wins womans hearts and breaks them without thought.
This is a novel about life in the country, and how maddening it can be. It follows a magnificent set of characters, set in the beautiful place of Wessex, Hardy's imaginative countryside of England.
My favourite thing about this novel is how it centres on a woman. (A rare thing in the 19th century.) And a woman who is given the power to make her own descisions, be in charge of her money, and given sexual power. Bathsheba Everdene is a wonderful creation, up there with the best of 19th century fictions heroines. As complex as Madame Bouvary, innocent like Tess and tragic like Anna Karenia.
I reccomend this novel to anyone who is a fan of Thomas Hardy, enjoys romance novels or wants to gain a fresh view of England in the 19th century.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprising... 19 Aug 2006
When I was at school I was forced to read several Thomas Hardy novels and was bored to tears by them but now that I'm older and, hopefully, wiser I've embarked on a Hardy revival and am loving every second of it.

The description of people and places and the intricate ways in which the characters interact with each other in 'Far From the Madding Crowd' all fit together to produce a piece of fiction which builds to a dramatic climax that will shock. This novel will leave you frustrated, annoyed, shocked and pleased all at the same time!

Victorian values have a lot to answer for!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
For my part I was introduced to this novel in my English Literature class and even then I enjoyed the narrative, I found out early on that Hardy had original produced his narrative as part of monthly serial for a magazine, and I think that this shows in the narrative. As the author had to keep his monthly readership keen and interested, so they would get the next enthralling `episode'.
As the serial progressed the story gained a broader audience. Eventually it gained mainly positive reviews and was ultimately compiled in a novel. What I didn't know, at the time and only realised until recently, is that Thomas Hardy revised/tweaked the narrative on number of occasions. So what is read today, or in this case hear has changed from the early manuscripts.

For me this is a story that can be seen on many levels - yes it is a romance, a comment on woman in the society of that time. However, for me it is the rural background, before the advent of the industrial revolution, which gives this tale that, the extra enthusiasm for the way in which the narrative is placed within the frame work of the story. Also the fact that Far From the Madding Crowd is a case of a novel in which chance and stoicism has a foremost role: "Had Bathsheba not sent the valentine, had Fanny not missed her wedding, for instance, the story would have taken a completely different path." Indeed, Hardy's main `players' often seem to be held in fate's irresistible grip.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Womens lib in the Victorian countryside. 3 Nov 2003
No-one can fail to be moved by this novel which contains all the ingredients to keep you enthralled from page one. It can be seen primarily as a romance avoiding the usual unremitting gloom associated with many of Hardy's novels. But it also contains its fair share of death, tragedy and deception. Despite this it is beautifully written and a heartwarming tale, vividly evoking Hardy's familiar countryside.
The main protagonist is a heroine who despite her flaws comes across as a powerful woman surviving in a mans world by running a farm single handed. This makes her an impressive role model. Her trio of romances are sensitively drawn so that we never lose sympathy for any of the characters.
A novel to read again and again. I would highly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous 29 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Turned up quickly in great condition. As for the story, well - it's beautiful. I'm working my way through the 'Classics', and enjoying them immensely.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The tragedy of life revealed... 29 Jun 2001
By A Customer
An unusually upbeat ending for Hardy... Or is it? I would say not. To marry without passion; to accept what is designed for you by fate; that is the tragedy of life. Bathsheba is a vital and strong woman who is eventually forced into succumbing to the ideals of the patriarchal society in which she lives.
As with all Hardy, you feel you know she could do so much more, but is doomed to remain what she is: woman.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A good story well written
A good story well written, My disappointment was Bathsheba whose character is not consistent; how could a person so able and rational in some spheres be so stupid in others.
Published 12 days ago by David Stewart
5.0 out of 5 stars good read.
great book. one of the better ones from this era.
Published 1 month ago by Susie Gunning
5.0 out of 5 stars That Indefinable Something
This is the first Thomas Hardy novel I have read it certainly won't be my last. I approached it with trepidation since I had somehow gained the idea that his novels were tragic... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jenny
4.0 out of 5 stars Love's trials and tribulations
I've shirked away from Hardy for a long time, but having read Under the Greenwood Tree (Oxford World's Classics) (1872) recently and liking it, I decided to give his next novel a... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Didier
4.0 out of 5 stars Still as engrossing today as when it was written
The first of Hardy's novels to receive widespread critical acclaim, Far from the Madding Crowd is as engrossing a tale today as when it was written. Read more
Published on 9 April 2011 by Jeremy Bevan
5.0 out of 5 stars Enduring love?
Reading this novel again in 36 degrees of heat in Tunisia was a delightful and slightly unusual experience! Read more
Published on 13 July 2010 by J. S. Lewison
4.0 out of 5 stars A master story teller
Author of Afinidad: A Novel of a Serial Killer
Aztec Dawn: A Tale of Sacrifical Murder, from Manhattan to Mexico
After reading a Thomas Hardy novel, I always heave a sigh... Read more
Published on 5 July 2009 by K. Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars Far from Maddening crowd
For lovers of Thomas Hardy everywhere. Descriptions of countryside and main characters cannot easily be beaten. Fascinating insight into the mind of lovers and those being loved.
Published on 28 Feb 2009 by Teresa Quayle
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good read.
I loved this book from start to finish.
It's written very well and each word is chosen perfectly. Read more
Published on 8 April 2008 by Mrs. D. L. Cox
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful victorian novel
Thomas Hardy is one of the XIX century's greatest novels, and this is one of his best novels. Morover, it is one of his most atypical novels. Read more
Published on 19 Jun 2007 by RAMON
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