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.
About the Author
THOMAS HARDY (1840-1928) was an English author and poet best known for his literary masterpieces Jude the Obscure, Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Far from the Madding Crowd, and The Mayor of Casterbridge. While he achieved success during his lifetime for his novels, Hardy considered himself first and foremost a poet, and his poetry is today recognized as a significant influence on the Movement poets of the 1950s and 1960s.
“Hardy’s world is a world that can never disappear.” —Margaret Drabble