Far from the Madding Crowd
Thomas Hardy’s (1840-1928) fourth novel, published in 1874, proved popular and successful. Its title was derived from Thomas Gray’s ‘Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard’. Set in the fictional region of Wessex, the book conveys the impact on rural society of rapid social change and industrialisation. Gabriel Oak is in tune with the world of nature, a man of the soil. But his future looks bleak when Bathsheba Everdene, a spirited but capricious heiress, rejects his marriage proposal and he unexpectedly loses his farmland. He is further humiliated by having to seek employment from Bathsheba as a shepherd. He watches, dismayed, as she is pursued by the obsessive Mr Boldwood and dashing Sergeant Troy.
- Article by:
- Elizabeth James
- The novel 1832–1880, Fin de siècle
Elizabeth James traces the development of Thomas Hardy’s fourth novel, from inspiration to post-publication revisions.
Related collection items
A Christmas book by Charles Dickens (1812–1870), published in 1843. Dickens was prompted to write this ...
Adam Bede is George Eliot’s first full-length novel, and embodies the realist aims she would continue to ...
This fantasy novel of 1865 was originally entitled Alice’s Adventures Under Ground. It was written by the ...
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861) completed this controversial nine-book novel in blank verse form in 1856. It ...