Thursday, April 16, 2015

Far From the Madding Crowd

Ah, Thomas Hardy. Your prose flows so well that it's obvious to me why your works have stood the test of time. Far From the Madding Crowd was no exception. Well, I've only read one other novel by you, so I suppose I can't be the best judge. But I shall remedy that, perhaps next year. Anyway, the tale of Bathsheba Everdene and the men who (try to) court her is a rather timeless one.

In Thomas Hardy’s first major literary success, independent and spirited Bathsheba Everdene has come to Weatherbury to take up her position as a farmer on the largest estate in the area. Her bold presence draws three very different suitors: the gentleman-farmer Boldwood, the soldier-seducer Sergeant Troy, and the devoted shepherd Gabriel Oak. Each, in contrasting ways, unsettles her decisions and complicates her life, and tragedy ensues, threatening the stability of the whole community. One of his first works set in the semi-fictional region of Wessex, Hardy’s novel of swift passion and slow courtship is imbued with his evocative descriptions of rural life and landscapes, and with unflinching honesty about sexual relationships. (From


I do not like to give much more than a summary-blurb in my reviews, because spoilers are no one's friend, which is why this time I used the Amazon description. But I have to touch on how easy to read this novel was. Yes, it took me a couple months, but that's only because I was reading it along with my friend and her mother so we had to take our time to stay together! There are many Great English Novels that are difficult to get into, but this is not one of them. And even with the dialogue, once I began reading it (in my head of course) in the accent Hardy was illustrating, it became even easier to understand. And his depictions of country life! Ah, how beautiful. Very pastoral.

This is a book I will have to revisit someday. There is also a film coming out this year, starring Carey Mulligan, who I like very much. I can imagine it won't be exactly like the book, but it's going to be a lush period drama of one of my new favorite novels so I seriously cannot wait.

Far from the Madding Crowd (2015) Poster


Far From the Madding Crowd is definitely a five star novel. No ifs, ands, or buts. I mean, I'm biased towards English literature, but everything about it was just perfect.