Far from the Madding Crowd, Paperback

Far from the Madding Crowd Paperback

Part of the Wordsworth Classics series

3.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Introduction and Notes by Norman Vance, Professor of English, University of Sussex.

Far from the Madding Crowd is perhaps the most pastoral of Hardy's Wessex novels.

It tells the story of the young farmer Gabriel Oak and his love for and pursuit of the elusive Bathsheba Everdene, whose wayward nature leads her to both tragedy and true love.

It tells of the dashing Sergeant Troy whose rakish philosophy of life was '...the past was yesterday; never, the day after', and lastly, of the introverted and reclusive gentleman farmer, Mr Boldwood, whose love fills him with '...a fearful sense of exposure', when he first sets eyes on Bathsheba.

The background of this tale is the Wessex countryside in all its moods, contriving to make it one of the most English of great English novels.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9781853260674


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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

This is the story of a shepherd who gets turned down by the love of his life, loses his livelihood in a tragic accident, becomes virtually destitute, finds himself working for the aforesaid love of his live where he watches in almost mute desperation as she first becomes entangled with the local top man before falling for and marrying a cad and bounder who deserts her (when one day the cad and bounder’s own true love reappears pregnant with his child only to die the same night) by faking his own death and leaving the shepherd’s true love once again entangled with the local top man, but then the cad and bounder reappears at an inappropriate moment and gets shot by the local top man who is then condemned to death but has the sentence transmuted to life imprisonment on account of insanity, and so the shepherd gets to marry the love of his life.The thing is the honest, hard working shepherd; the flighty, beautiful woman; the cad and the bounder; the mentalist top man – they are all sympathetically written and likeable. The supporting cast all have lives of their own and behave normally and both have, and behave in, character. And they have fun. Quite often. Their lives happen whilst the plot unfolds. Not because of the plot, or to make the plot move on. I like these people. And the place. Not that I’d want to live there: Too much cider.The three tragic episodes – the death of the girl, the accident that puts an end to the shepherds start in life and the murder of the cad and bounder - are all told in such a way as to make you feel the tragedy emotionally, to care, to connect. It is a nicely told tale.And it has a happy ending. The newly married couple send ‘a bit of something’ down to the pub so the locals can have a piss up. What more could you ask from life?

Review by

A lovely rural tale where Gabriel Oak and the countryside compete for centre stage.Read June 2004

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