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Old 06-01-2007, 04:31 AM   #1
HarryT
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Post Hardy, Thomas: The Mayor of Casterbridge (Illustrated). v2, 29 Aug 2008

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.

Enjoy!


EDIT: 29 Aug 08

Completely recreated the book with greatly improved formatting. Added the illustrations from the original magazine serialisation.

Previous download count: 200
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Old 06-01-2007, 10:03 AM   #2
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hardy never met a word he didn't like, often going on for pages just because he can, he needed a good editor who could slash the book by about 1/3 into a tight, well structured read

good book, just read every other word
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Old 06-01-2007, 10:05 AM   #3
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I'm not sure that's a fair criticism . Most of Hardy's books are a lot shorter than Dickens or Eliot! "The Major of Casterbridge", for example, is about a third the length of Eliot's "Middlemarch" or Dickens' "Bleak House".

The main thing about Hardy is that he's just so incredibly depressing to read . He was the first English novelist to "escape" from the custom of having comedic (ie "happy") endings to books, and use tragic ones. In most of Hardy's books, the main character ends up ruined, committing suicide, executed, or some other such cheerful fate!
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Old 06-06-2008, 02:08 PM   #4
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Harry is right: the books are actually much shorter than Dickens or some of Eliot, perhaps reflecting that those who read novels had more leisure time for reading in the more rural, railroad-less 18th century than they had in the faster-paced industrializing late 19th century. I don't find Hardy overly verbose; I appreciate his careful development of plot and character.
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Old 08-29-2008, 10:39 AM   #5
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Completely recreated the book with greatly improved formatting. Added the illustrations from the original magazine serialisation.
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Old 07-21-2009, 12:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleDuke View Post
hardy never met a word he didn't like, often going on for pages just because he can, he needed a good editor who could slash the book by about 1/3 into a tight, well structured read

good book, just read every other word
If you think this of Hardy, is there a single 19C novelist who could pass your standards?

I wouldn't sacrifice a single word of Hardy's, ever.
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