The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas HardyThe Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy

The Mayor of Casterbridge

byThomas Hardy

Paperback | November 18, 2004

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A cruel joke at a country fair goes too far when a drunken laborer auctions off his wife and child to the highest bidder. Rich in descriptive powers and steeped in irony, Hardy's gripping tale unfolds amid a rural English community. It offers a spellbinding portrayal of ambition, rivalry, revenge, and repentance.

About The Author

Thomas Hardy was born on June 2, 1840, in Higher Bockhampton, England. The eldest child of Thomas and Jemima, Hardy studied Latin, French, and architecture in school. He also became an avid reader. Upon graduation, Hardy traveled to London to work as an architect's assistant under the guidance of Arthur Bloomfield. He also began writin...
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Details & Specs

Title:The Mayor of CasterbridgeFormat:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 8.25 × 5.19 × 0.68 inPublished:November 18, 2004Publisher:Dover PublicationsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0486437493

ISBN - 13:9780486437491

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Customer Reviews of The Mayor of Casterbridge

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Classic Hardy Novel I have read a few of Thomas Hardy's books prior to this one and have had mixed feelings on his writing overall. On one hand I loved Far From the Madding Crowd from start to finish while some of his other books such as Under the Greenwood Tree I thought were garbage. Luckily this book isn't garbage and more like FFTMC (although not as good as that novel in my opinion). Although the premise seems absurd at first, as the introduction explains there were actual cases of wife selling in Britain at the time that inspired Hardy. Using that premise he is able expand onto other themes and creates one of his most fleshed out and interesting characters in Michael Henchard. Overall I found it an enjoyable book and would recommend it to others.
Date published: 2017-06-02
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Had to read it for class. Not the worst, but not a favourite Honestly this book was fine, but it wasn't truly engaging and ultimately did not capture any sense of excitement or intrigue for me. Probably won't pick it up again.
Date published: 2017-04-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Pretty Much Flawless This is a novel of astounding power. The title character Michael Henchard is an incredibly compelling character who proves to be surprisingly sympathetic. Although the opening scene is horrific, the story that follows is one that is tragic and moving. This novel is a true testament to Hardy's incredible skill as a writer.
Date published: 2017-01-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Part of a Classical Library One of the few Hardy novels I had not read. Certainly you see how Hardy was developing the skill that led him to produce Tess of the d'Ubervilles and Jude the Obscure. Fascinating how the themes of the open country of the moors counterpoint the microcosm of urban life in this novel, mirroring inner human nature and social convention. It's this use of geography that has, for me, been a hallmark of Hardy's work, and certainly a major influence upon my own writing. Once again I was impressed by Hardy's modern approach to writing, employing deep character development and dark, socially unacceptable themes for the period. In this case the narrative explores an alcoholic's cruel treatment of his wife and daughter, his attempt to redeem himself only to find himself incapable of rising above his baser nature. It is a mark of Hardy's writing skill that the reader both loves and despises the character of Henchard, so that in the end Hardy presents a pitiable wretch for whom we are capable of weeping. As a side note, the film adaptation of The Mayor of Casterbridge with Ciaran Hines as main character, Michael Henchard, is a faithful reproduction of the novel, beautifully produced, impeccable costuming, and well worth seeing.
Date published: 2012-01-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from I Can't Believe he actually sold his baby!!! I had never been so against reading a book in my life. Everything about it seemed boring; the cover, the title, and even the way the pages smelled. It was only the fact that Henchard sells his wife and baby in an auction; that kept my interest alive. Even with a premise as weird as this one, the book's beginning was painful. It wasn't until later on that I discovered the book wouldn't be as painful as I feared. The Mayor of Casterbridge is based entirely on irony and coincidences. Never have I rolled my eyes so many times in disbelief. Hardy created a soap opera-like world in the town of Casterbridge. This actually gave a humorous appeal to the book. After every major section of the book you can't help but mumble, "Sure..." Some people deem this book, "Depressing," however The Mayor of Casterbridge didn't once give me a similar feeling. This book is presented in such a way that it helps you laugh at other people's misfortune. I wouldn't recommend this book as a "free-read;" But if you must choose between a bunch of boring books, and this one happens to be on the list, then I highly recommend you choose it. It may seem boring at first, but give it a chance; Hardy's humorous look at tragedy will give you a good laugh. I mean how bad can a book be, that starts out with its central character actually selling his wife and baby girl at a fair?
Date published: 2009-09-10