The Mayor of Casterbridge is a man haunted by his past. In his youth he betrayed his wife and baby daughter in a shocking incident that led him to swear never to tough alcohol again for twenty-one years. He has since risen from his humble origins to become a respected pillar of the community in Casterbridge, but his secrets cannot stay hidden forever and he has many hard lessons left to learn.
Thomas Hardy’s almost supernatural insight into the course of wayward lives, his instinctive feeling for the beauty of the rural landscape, and his power to invest that landscape with moral significance all came together in an utterly fluent way in The Mayor of Casterbridge.
A classically shaped story about the rise and fall of the brooding and sometimes brutal Michael Henchard in the harsh world of nineteenth-century rural England, The Mayor of Casterbridge is an emblematic product of Hardy’s maturity–vigorous, forceful, and unclouded by illusions.
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)
About the Author
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) was born in Dorset, England, son of a stonemason. Though a gifted student, he was unable to afford to attend university. He was apprenticed to an architect at age sixteen and worked in London for several years before returning to Dorset and dedicating himself to writing novels and poems.
Craig Raine is Fellow and Tutor in English at New College, Oxford, and editor of Arete, a tri-quarterly arts magazine. Poet, literary critic, playwright, librettist, and editor, Raine has been a powerful voice and an adversarial, intellectually independent figure in the literary world for the last
The Mayor of Casterbridge is a novel about Henchard’s ‘struggle into love and the struggle with love’ . . . Hardy is clearly an expert in moods and maps out the terrain . . . like a writer who knows the emotional landscape intimately.” –from the Introduction by Craig Raine