While drunk, Michael Henchard, a hay-trusser by trade, sells his wife Susan and their child Elizabeth-Jane to Newson, a sailor, for five guineas.
Years later, Susan, now a widow, arrives in Casterbridge to seek her legal husband. To their surprise, Henchard is now the Mayor of Casterbridge and following the sale of his wife, took a twenty-one-year vow not to drink, out of shame. Henchard remarries Susan and as Elizabeth-Jane believes herself to be Newson's daughter, he adopts her as his own. But he cannot evade his destiny by such measures, for his past refuses to be buried. Fate contrives for him to be punished for the recklessness of his younger days.
In this powerful depiction of a man who overreaches himself, Hardy once again show his acute psycological grasp and his deep-seated knowledge of mid-nineteenth century Dorset.
EDIT: 29 Aug 08
Completely recreated the book with greatly improved formatting. Added the illustrations from the original magazine serialisation.
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