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The Mayor of Casterbridge

The Mayor of Casterbridge [Kindle Edition]

Thomas Hardy
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (154 customer reviews)

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Product Description


"Wonderful, comprehensive edition at reasonable cost to students. The chronology, maps, notes on text, and introduction by the talented Dale Kramer make this edition a great value for the money." --Bonnie W. Epstein, Plymouth State College

Product Description

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 509 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.ą r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0084AYLK8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (154 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #879 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hardy at his best 4 July 2008
This for me is Hardy's greatest novel, written at the peak of his career. The character of Henchard, although deeply flawed, nonetheless captures the reader's attention both during and after reading the novel. His journey from young and despondent husband and father, through to his time as the mayor and his eventual demise, prove most gripping. This novel along with Tess, Jude the Obscure and The Return of the Native make up Hardy's tragic Wessex novels, and although all of them are rather sad and to an extent depressing, The Mayor of Casterbridge really does stand out as the most satisfying read that chronicles the shift away from older models of masculinity towards the beginnings of modernity that Hardy himself lived through during his long life. Don't forget about the genius of this man's writing!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic read 6 April 2000
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I received this book as a Christmas present along with various other books. I left this one to last because I thought it might be hard going. It turned out to be one of the best books I've ever read, The characters are brilliant, my interest was held the whole way through, and it most definately wasn't a hard read. Now forTess of the D'urbervilles!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Human Nature Hardy Style and it Never Changes 22 Aug 2009
Loved this book - what a great story showing all the various elements of the human character - greed, love, hate, struggles for power..... I could go on.

It is also a human tragedy, explained at its best by the inimitable Hardy and although it was written many years ago, it does show that human nature remains very much the same as it always was and you could almost put it into a modern setting and alter the scenery a little and it would be up-to-date, so to speak.

All of Hardy's books are great (I was first introduced to them whilst studing for 'O' Levels in the 1950's and have continued to read them again and again since)and although the grammar and syntax are quite dissimilar to that of today they are easy to read and the stories are great.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By R. A. Davison TOP 1000 REVIEWER
The Mayor Of Casterbridge, if you include one unpublished, destroyed work, was Thomas Hardy's seventh novel and the third of his novels that I have read after Tess Of The D'Urbervilles and Far From The Madding Crowd, both of which I read in 2010.

It is the story of one Michael Henchard, the eponymous Mayor in question. At the opening of the novel he is a drunk, wandering from town to town in search of work. Accompanied by his wife and their baby daughter he gets drunk at a fair in Casterbridge, and in a moment of passion offers his wife and child up to the highest bidder. At first the gathered assembly take it as a shocking joke, but then a stranger, a sailor called Newson, steps forward and offers him 5 guineas, which he accepts. On waking and discovering his wife and child gone, Henchard vows to give up alcohol and become a good man.

Over the next two decades he prospers financially, and becomes a pillar of the community, the Mayor, respected though not particularly popular. By contrast his wife, Susan, who had a good life with Newson has now fallen on hard times, as her common law husband has been lost at sea. Along with her daughter she tracks down Henchard who is still legally her husband to make him provide for her.

The ensuing complications that arise from their reunion, mark a downturn in Henchard's fortunes culminating in a spectacular fall from grace.

Unlike many of his contemporaries who also made a lot of social comments, Dickens, say, or Eliot, Hardy has a tendency towards the bleak and the unhappy ending. Henchard as a study is something of a Shakespearian tragedy of a man, full of pride and conceit, inevitably brought low by his own character flaws and mistakes.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Jeremy Bevan TOP 500 REVIEWER
Having waited until middle age to read a Hardy novel (while long an admirer of his poetry), I will definitely not be waiting until old age to read a second. In The Mayor of Casterbridge, Hardy examines great themes, still highly relevant today: is our character what determines our fate, or are we at the mercy of forces beyond our control ? Is progress an unalloyed good ? How far can we defy convention before social bonds break ? All of these questions are thrown up in the context of a well-paced and carefully plotted, complex tale, that (for all its occasionally strained coincidences) moves - not without humour that's still fresh today - towards seemingly inevitable tragedy. Suffused with both classical and biblical references, it's a story that bears comparison with Shakespeare's tragedies in a way that, say, Dickens' lighter tales generally don't.

And though the world of The Mayor of Casterbridge is at heart the bleak story of Michael Henchard, a wilful, impetuous man who rises from humble beginnings to great heights, only to be brought low again by his own shortcomings, it is also one where devotion can call forth love, as Henchard's relationship with his step-daughter Elizabeth-Jane Newson belatedly demonstrates. Is happiness `but the occasional episode in a general drama of pain', as the last page of the book seems to suggest ? That's certainly one conclusion you could draw from all of this. But the last word seems to go to Elizabeth-Jane, who seems, more than the other characters, to represent Hardy's own point of view, and who acknowledges that `the doubtful honour of a brief transit through a sorry world' can be `irradiated at some half-way point by daybeams rich as hers' (310).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Good little book - a little slow at times and ...
Good little book - a little slow at times and therefore took me a lot longer to get through it than it should have, but on the whole it's a great story. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Mr. D. L. Edwards
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
gripping story I love Thomas hardy books
Published 11 days ago by cleapatra
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read
I enjoyed it more that I expected to. The guy who said it turned him off Thomas Hardy for life, was forced to read it as a set book when he was at school. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Tubal Cain
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 26 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars The mayor of casterbridge
This was a very interesting book that made me very anxious to proceed with the story and find how it turned out.
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars A great period classic
Having read it, I can see why this is hailed as a classic. It's got everything in it, rags to riches, love won and lost, jealousy, poverty and wealth. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Fairporter
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
This is a must read. I can guarantee you will be left thinking about it for a long time. If you like Tess you'll like this.
Published 1 month ago by mezlizt
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by yvonne
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Another super book remembered from school days.
Published 1 month ago by Joyce Drury
5.0 out of 5 stars Great classic
I can't believe I've never read this. A lovely classic . As most of Thomas Hardy books ,not always the outcome you want ,but what a journey to get there.
Published 1 month ago by Mme Victoria BAILEY
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