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From the Publisher
With an Introduction and Notes by Michael Irwin, Professor of English Literature, University of Kent at CanterburyNone of the great Victorian novels is more vivid and readable than The Mayor of Casterbridge. Set in the heart of Hardy''s Wessex, the ''partly real, partly dream country'' he founded on his native Dorset, it charts the rise and self-induced downfall of a single ''man of character''. The fast-moving and ingeniously contrived narrative is Shakespearian in its tragic force, and features some of the author''s most striking episodes and brilliant passages of description.