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About the Author: Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy, OM, was an English author of the naturalist movement, although in several poems he displays elements of the previous romantic and enlightenment periods of literature, such as his fascination with the supernatural. He regarded himself primarily as a poet and composed novels mainly for financial gain. The bulk of his work, set mainly in the semi-fictional land of Wessex, delineates characters struggling against their passions and circumstances. Hardy's poetry, first published in his 50s, has come to be as well regarded as his novels, especially after The Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. The term cliffhanger is considered to have originated with Thomas Hardy's serial novel A Pair of Blue Eyes in 1873. In the novel, Hardy chose to leave one of his protagonists, Knight, literally hanging off a cliff staring into the stony eyes of a trilobite embedded in the rock that has been dead for millions of years. This became the archetypal — and literal — cliff-hanger of Victorian prose.

Excerpted from Wikipedia.


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Goodreads rating: 3.78

Paperback, Published in Nov 2005 by Bantam Classics

ISBN10: 0553210246 | ISBN13: 9780553210248

Page count: 336

From its spectacular opening–the astonishing scene in which drunken Michael Henchard sells his wife and daughter to a passing sailor at a county fair–to the breathtaking series of discoveries at its conclusion, The Mayor of Casterbridge claims a unique place among Thomas Hardy’s finest and most powerful novels.

Rooted in an actual case of wife-selling in early nineteenth-century England, the story build into an awesome Sophoclean drama of guilt and revenge, in which the strong, willful Henchard rises to a position of wealth and power–only to suffer a most bitter downfall. Proud, obsessed, ultimately committed to his own destruction, Henchard is, as Albert Guerard has said, “Hardy’s Lord Jim…his only tragic hero and one of the greatest tragic heroes in all fiction.

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