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The Mayor of Casterbridge The Life and Death of a Man of Character

Summary The Mayor of Casterbridge The Life and Death of a Man of Character

Rrible secret Twenty years ago when he was unemployed and penniless he sold his wife t. I give it five stars because it seems nearly a perfect example of its type of craft This

Summary ´ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ☆ Thomas Hardy

Classic British EnglishMichael Henchard is a wealthy and respected man but he has a te. “Happiness was but the occasional episode in a general drama of pain” Hardy sure wa

Thomas Hardy ☆ 5 Free download

O a sailor Now she is looking for him again Why And what will happen when she finds hi. Thomas Hardy was a genius I know that he wrote tragedies with characters crushed by fate

10 thoughts on “The Mayor of Casterbridge The Life and Death of a Man of Character

  1. says:

    this is hardy's most perfectly constructed novel there are others that are appealing to me am i allowed to say that? but this one is such a perfect cause and effect every action has a reaction kind of book that it should really be his most popular and successful instead of tess which by comparison is pure melodrama mayor is full of the trappings of melodrama convenient and inexplicable deaths characters long out of the picture returning at the least opportune times overheard conversations and love triangles and deathbed confessions and yet it is so much than that it is the long drawn out punishment of a man who makes an impulsive mistake tries to redeem himself and finds that when thomas hardy is writing your life it just isn't going to work out for you sorry this book has psychological insight than tess and henchard is a much complex and nuanced character than any found in tess' world tess' punishments result from her gender her innocence the hypocrisy of society and a mismanaged letter henchard is no ingenuenor is this like jude where a basically good but misguided man falls victim to circumstances michael henchard is an unlikeable character through and through but the fact that he tries to be a better man and even pulls it off for a while should be enough right? even though he is arrogant and hot tempered even though he sold his wife and baby in a drunken impulse? is he not even a candidate for redemption? he regrets his mistakes and even though he continues to make his awareness of his character flaws should be enough to avoid his fate right?nope this is hardyland hardy doesn't take kindly to people trying to rise above their circumstances nor does he take kindly to people getting off scot free from their mistakes good intentions or not tess and angel pay jude and sue pay and michael henchard will payalong with the very hardy esue theme of stay put and be good this book is another shining example of hardy's facility with descriptive prose involving pastoral settings and the idea of progress and its effect on the working mancoincidences abound but always acting as an agent of fate which was hardy's god fate is capricious but determined and there is no escaping it is why i love thomas hardycome to my blog

  2. says:

    “Happiness was but the occasional episode in a general drama of pain” Hardy sure was a depressing fellow As with Tess and Jude the eponymous mayor of Casterbridge in this book takes one figurative beating after another Just when you think things might be starting to look up when it seems he's found his footing and is turning his life around Hardy says nuh uh and throws another load of shit at him I know he was challenging social norms and critiuing the bourgeoisie and whatever else but good god man give these poor characters a breakMichael Henchard stands apart a little bit though because I feel unlike Tess and Jude he himself is something of an antagonist in the lives of other goodhearted and modernistic folk He is actually rather unpleasant and probably deserves a lot of what he gets which is why it's uite an achievement that Hardy makes me sympathise with him I wanted him to get better do better be better I didn't like him of course but then there are many ways I can be made to feel about characters and “like” is always the least interesting oneThe novel opens eighteen years before the main story Michael Henchard is unemployed unhappy and on the road with his wife and daughter when he stops at a fairground tent for some rum laced furmity A few bowls later and he is drunk In a moment of drunken foolishness he gets angry at his wife and declares to all present that he will sell her to the highest bidder What starts as a joke is taken too far and when a passing sailor offers him five guineas intoxication and pride make him go through with it His wife Susan takes her daughter and leaves uite gladly with the sailorThe next morning Henchard realises the horror of what he has done and makes a vow not to drink for as long as his age at that moment 21 years Eighteen years later the sailor has been lost at sea and Susan follows the trail of her true husband to the town of Casterbridge hoping he will take pity on her and her daughter There she discovers a sober well respected Michael Henchard in the mayor's seat Could this be a second chance for them both?Could it hell Sorry but this is Hardy He wasn't going to let anyone get away with anything that easily There's twists around every corner in this book He really pushes how much we can feel pity for Michael Henchard Henchard essentially orchestrates his own downfall time and again by behaving selfishly and jealously I found myself despising him at times and yet in the end I could only think Henchard you poor poor bastardI enjoyed the moral challenges and complexity the book offered I also really enjoyed the rural setting and the town of Casterbridge My least favourite part of the book was Elizabeth Jane though she got a little bearable towards the end MaybeI do have one uestion though view spoilerHow does Lucetta die? She can't have been than say forty What happened to her? She seems to have literally died of embarrassment 😂 hide spoiler

  3. says:

    Michael Henchard an itinerant young annoyed farm worker walking with uiet wife Susan infant daughter Elizabeth Jane looking for employment the time the early 1830's in southern England after an exhausting journey they reach a country fair in a small village enter a crowded tent with dubious humans serving alcohol he imbibes vigorously a weakness that will cause much trouble and haunt him the rest of his life soon inebriated the highly distressed man in a stupor sells Susan to an unknown sailor named Newson what began as a joke reaches an unforeseen conclusion In the morning sober and very ashamed he seeks his wife and daughter everywhere but they have left the area and the nationAlmost twenty years later a drastic change this MrHenchard is now the influential Mayor of Casterbridge Dorchester a successful businessman in the corn and hay trade only a few miles from his crime a secret that still causes him much pain and suffering he has vowed and kept this oath not to partake any intoxicating beverages for 21 years his age during the scandalous incident Recently hiring the bright young reluctant affable Mr Donald Farfrae from Scotland with a vague dream of going to America to pursue his fortune there but after a protracted difficult negotiation on the road out of town Henchard persuades Farfrae to stay he runs the business better than the owner Michael has it all a beautiful girlfriend Lucetta Templeman too from an impoverished family on the island of Jersey he has compromised but promises will wed the eager woman she helped him back to health when the mayor became dangerously ill there nurses fall in love with their needy patients regularly Yet life has freuent complications the smooth voyage of his career hits a reef his long suspected dead wife Susan returns she also hides a deep secret bringing his daughter Elizabeth Jane toowhat to do? The respected mayor of Casterbridge a widower he says will uietly marry his wife again for appearance sake the townsmen are flabbergasted a poor sickly uneducated woman with a grown daughter a stranger MrHenchard could have any single woman from a good family in the city later Mr Farfrae and shy Miss Elizabeth Jane start to look at each other both with kind eyes A major novel from the always interesting writer Thomas Hardy dark waters may flow through these pages but they will take you back to a place that will engross and this is the ultimate goal of any book

  4. says:

    Ooof finally finished this trudge trudge trudge of a book and it isn’t even that long Maybe I’m getting feeble but Thomas Hardy’s manytentacled sentences and trillion 19th century rural slang words presented a north face of the Eiger challenge for my little brain – strange words like clane felloe furmety gaberlunzie twanking diment rantipole and comminatory and many many and sentences like this deep breath As the lively and sparkling emotions of her early married life cohered into an euable serenity the finer movements of her nature found scope in discovering to the narrow lived ones around her the secret as she had once learnt it of making limited opportunities endurable; by a species of microscopic treatment of those minute forms of satisfaction that offer themselves to everybody not in positive pain; which this handled have much of the same inspiriting effect upon life as wider interests cursorily embraced You like that one? Heck I got another While life’s middle summer had set its hardening mark on the mother’s face her former spring like specialities were transferred so dexterously by Time to the second figure her child that the absence of certain facts within her mother’s knowledge from the girl’s mind would have seemed for the moment to one reflecting on those facts to be a curious imperfection in Nature’s powers of continuityYeah time to lie down for 20 minutes I guess I got what I thought I was going to get with this book – an intricate tale of the playing out of the intertwined fates of four characters who marry each other lie about their origins to each other lie about each others’ origins to each other don’t marry each other have the hots for each other love each other hate each other betray each other turn the tables on each other and in general bamboozlerize each other until the poor reader’s head is spinning The plot is as constricted and convoluted as a box of pythons; it’s like a Coen Brothers movie like Blood Simple or Burn After Reading It’s a lethal uadrille The sexual politics of this unlikely tale are just weird The young around 21 I guess Michael Henchard auctions off his wife in the first famous scene and then lives as a bachelor for the next 18 years He explains Being something of a woman hater I have found it no hardship to keep mostly at a distance from the sex The next big emotional entanglement he makes after 18 years of celibacy is with a man An entrancing young Scotsman to be precise we could be thinking maybe Ewan McGregor in Shallow Grave or David Tennant as Doctor Who Henchard by now hizzoner The Mayor of Casterbridge practically falls in love with this guy Then suddenly back comes the wife he sold with daughter in tow and the merry dance begins Swing your partners one two three Reading this Hardy novel was like watching an old mournful elephant skilfully pick up three peas and juggle them expertly with his one enormous trunk and then turn round and plod massively back into the trackless jungle smashing bamboo plants and ripping creepers apart as he went one large tear trickling down his cheek

  5. says:

    I give it five stars because it seems nearly a perfect example of its type of craft This book has an intertwined and flawless plot that is never overcomplicated; it is full of wonderful language rich with regional variation for instance the tenor of Donald Farfrae's Scottish is exceptionally musical and not like the speech of his peers There were moments reading this book I felt so much under the sway of the author's power that I could observe him wirte himself into one tight plot corner and then another and then skillfully find his way out from all Plot plot plot There's a lot to learn here Everything they told us in graduate school started here plot springs from character; don't coddle your characters reveal their weaknesses build plot around their flaws Let their mistakes haunt their lives forever Don't get bogged down in narrative tangents The simplicity of this tale makes room for its psychological richness not the same as complexity just depth I wish I could do this In comparision to the other 19th century realists with whom Hardy is often compared Hardy it seems to me is the purest of them all He doesn't get lost in well meaning documentarian slumming as Zola did and he has less of the pathos of Wharton or James That said I prefer Wharton and James somehow their characters seem yet tragic I'm not sure why perhaps there is a teeny bit less subtely and elegance to Hardy's writing His is sure footed Anglo saxon stubborn forceful And yet with beautiful moments of authorial reflection We'll have to take a poll

  6. says:

    I'd heard Hardy was a bit of a chore so instead of his chunky novels I went slender with The Mayor of Casterbridge as my first I'm not sure it was a wise choice Not because I thought it was bad by any means The writing's uite good the story held my interest but jeez louise this is bleak stuff It's bleaker than Bleak House Are all this books like this? I'm not normally depressed but I may have to put myself on suicide watch just to get through another one of his novelsSeriously though I don't mind a dose of miserable realism now and then and I liked that peek into an odd and terrible matrimonial tradition Stories based on drunken missteps that linger into lifelong regrets do not generally lend themselves to frivolity and this book is not about happy happy good times Back in merry ole England and no doubt many other places if a man no longer loved his woman he could get rid of her and potentially make a profit What a world Some day I'll get around to meeting Tess of the d'Ubervilles but I fear by the end of the encounter I may want to get as Far from the Madding Crowd as possible

  7. says:

    This is the story of the rise and fall of Michael Henchard a hot tempered proud and irascible hay trusser who in a drunken haze sells his wife and baby girl to a sailor at a fair for five guineasHe regrets his deed the next day but can not find his wife and child Entering a church he kneels by the altar and vows to stay sober for 21 years and do good and be charitable But can he rise above his anger pride obstinacy jealousy sense of rivalry and impulsiveness?Would he be able to prevent the life and name he has built for himself from unraveling? Could he fight fate?This is a story of misunderstandings; of suffering the conseuences of transgressions; of self punishment and regrets and of longing to be loved and cherishedThis is a tragedy

  8. says:

    Thomas Hardy was a genius I know that he wrote tragedies with characters crushed by fate or their own mistakes yet there were so many twists and turns in this novel that I held out hope until the very end He had me rooting for Michael Henchard the Mayor in spite of his difficult sometimes cruel temperament I was enthralled throughout

  9. says:

    Some novels represent an attempt at a retreat into the past on the part of the reader some a step into the imagined future still others take aim at identifying a scenario that occurs in the present but which may or may not seem at all familiar Thomas Hardy's wonderful novel The Mayor of Casterbridge takes the reader into the author's world of 1840s Dorset called Wessex in the novel a very different time place just on the eve of the Industrial Age In a departure from the literary efforts of many other writers from this similar periods in England there seems little reference to Britain's extremely class conscious stratification very much in force during this period The novel involves the path to resolution if not actual reconciliation for a misdeed of major proportion by Michael Henchard committed in a fit of drunkenness at a county fair selling off his wife young daughter to a sailor By way of a uick summary the rest of the slow moving novel involves the uick onset of remorse a gradual revelation of just what Mr Henchard does to resolve his offense Nothing in Hardy's universe is ever termed a sin so Henchard does not seek a return to grace but rather endures a self imposed penance vowing not to drink for 21 years his age at the time that he parts company with his wife child In the coming years the reader learns a great deal about grain harvesting in Casterbridge follows Henchard as he searches in vain for this wife child working as an itinerant tradesman a hay trusser bundling corn or wheat while saving his money in time settling in Casterbridge working diligently and eventually becoming so resourceful in the harvesting selling of grain that he becomes both wealthy in turn the town's mayor With the sort of twists turns that occur in Dickens or in Shakespeare Henchard's wife Susan daughter Elizabeth Jane almost magically reappear in Casterbridge not seeking revenge but rather a continuation of life as it had been before they were sold off to the sailor Richard Newsom for 5 Guineas In the interval the erstwhile Susan Henchard had taken leave of Mr Newsom who is now believed to have been swept away while at sea With what is described as a mechanical rightness rather than a loving embrace the family becomes reunited There are 3 great resolves at play with Henchard to make amends to Susan; to provide a comfortable home for Elizabeth Jane; to castigate himself with the thoughts that these restitutory acts brought in their train But Henchard's daughter knows none of the circumstances surrounding this apparent marriage renewal or the earlier sale of mother daughter Indeed there is deception aplenty involved on the part of both her father her mother For His mind began vibrating between the wish to reveal himself to her the policy of leaving well enough alone till he could no longer sit still He walked up down then he came stood behind Elizabeth Jane looking down on the top of her head He could no longer restrain his impulse 'What did your mother tell you about me my history?' he askedBut wait I've forgotten to mention the arrival of an industrious young Scot Donald Farfrae an intelligent even tempered lad who is seemingly en route to a new life in America but who reminds Henchard of his late brother who is convinced to sign on as a foreman at Henchard's grain business helping to enhance its profitability while becoming a confidant but later a rival In a reversal of roles Henchard becomes a pauper Farfrae wealthy the town's mayor In fact Henchard is enlisted as a hay trusser working for Farfrae commenting the bitter truth is that when I was rich I did not need what I could have now that I be poor I can't have what I need And in the midst of all of this Elizabeth Jane shines as a developing woman a heroine of great capacity to deal with whatever confronts her Please pardon that I have given away than a touch of the plot but not in any way hinted at how the novel concludes The imagery in The Mayor of Casterbridge is very memorable even at times stunning By way of one humorous example is the vignette of Henchard Farfrae being hosted by a women each is enad of upon being offered a piece of buttered bread each feeling certain that he was the man meant neither letting go the slice tearing apart But even portentous haunting is the scene by a bridge when Henchard having lost everything that is of any value to him devoid of loved ones hobby or desires all had gone one by one either by his fault or by his misfortune but with hard fate having ordained that he should be unable to call up the Divine Spirit in his need contemplates suicideHe took off his coat hat and stood on the brink of a stream with his hands clasped in front of him While his eyes were bent on the water beneath there slowly became visible something floating in the circular pool formed by the wash of centuries; the pool he was intending to be his deathbed At first it was indistinct by reason of the shadow from the bank but it emerged thence took shape which was that of a human body lying stiff stark upon the surface of the stream Then he perceived with a sense of horror that it was himself Not a man somewhat resembling himself but one in all respects his counterpart his actual double The sense of the supernatural was strong in this unhappy man he turned away as one might have done in the actual presence of an appalling miracle He covered his eyes bowed his head Without looking again into the stream he took his coat hat and went slowly awayWhat also lifts Thomas Hardy's early novel well above the pitfalls of the apparent storm stress of the relationships I've highlighted are some most uplifting descriptive details about sunsets sunrises daily life in a small English village almost 200 years ago including some mention of the grog that was Henchard's undoing furmity fermenty a mix of milk boiled fermented corn spices sugar for an extra tuppence a bit of rum most certainly not on the drink menu of any place I've ever visited in the UK If you have no interest in entering this diorama of mid 19th century Dorset the morality tale of Mr Henchard the others will likely not be sufficient to support the many allusions to Greek Roman antiuity French phrases archaic English words that are indeed a distraction at least in my version of The Mayor of Casterbridge published with no footnotes by VintageRandom House in 2016 My guess is that Hardy lacking a formal education longed to demonstrate his self taught comprehension of the world at large Belatedly I became aware of an online resource for the Hardy novel which conveys almost all of these terms for the reader which is highly recommended Likewise I urge empathy a sympathetic stance in the case of Michael Henchard while at the same time highly recommending Mr Hardy's excellent novel

  10. says:

    When Thomas stopped writing novels in the early 1900s he concentrated his bitterness on spectacularly peevish poetry dripping with melancholy self loathing than mid 90s Morrissey albums has anyone actually heard Maladjusted or Southpaw Grammar the whole way through? These poems captivated my downbeat imagination as a teenager but the novels remained out of reach—I wanted heartbreak to go I wasn’t looking to eat in the restaurant of shattered dreams Now I find myself pulled towards the Great Grump’s masterworks Starting with this terrific novel that reads like a transcript of my first two goes on The Sims—I lost my father killed my mother made a series of kitchen fire hotchpotches and ended up killing all my close friends and children then killed myself The details are different in The Mayor of Casterbridge only slightly but if ever a writer was Sim like it’s Hardy He is like an existential bingo caller with a grudge Mayor no —forty four Poisoned by hate—eight eight No women survive—twenty five This Oxford World Classics edition stifled me with its academia and I confess I skipped the intro Usually I like the setup and context intros give me but here I wanted in to the action Since this review is stressfully scattershot I might as well conclude with this track from Nick Cave sums up the fate of the poor Mayor perfectly as well as being amazing in its own rightWhen I First Came to Town

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