Monday, May 24, 2010

Book 42: The Mayor of Casterbridge and Book Stats.

Title: The Mayor of Casterbridge: The Life and Death of a Man of Character
Author: Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)
First Published: 1886

My Edition: Amsco Literature Series (I bought this last September at my library book sale-the copyright date is 1971)
Pages: 292

Other Works Include: Far From the Madding Crowd (1874), The Return of the Native (1878), The Woodlanders (1887), Tess of D'Urbervilles (1891), Jude the Obscure (1895), The Well-Beloved (1897)

Hardy was also well-known for a number of other novels and short stories. He was also a poet, but used his novel writing as experience and to pay the bills (must be nice, huh?).

For my personal challenge, I will be reading a number of Hardy's novels, including Far From the Madding Crowd, The Return of the Native, Tess of D'Urbervilles, and Jude the Obscure. Unfortunately for me, I have NO experience reading any of Hardy's works, so I am going into this completely blind.

Again, I must mention how I feel like my English degree is somewhat of a joke. It never prepared me for this.

Anyway, from what I have gathered about this particular Hardy novel, is that it is an experiment in character development. Hardy liked to play around with characters to see what they would do, which is something I am rather fond of. I am a sucker for well-developed characters as opposed to new and interesting plots, so if this is true about Mr. Hardy, I think I might have a new best friend.

In any case, I know nothing about the content of the novel, except that it takes place in a fictionalized place in England, which Hardy calls Wessex, and it centers on the life and actions of one man.

Here's to hoping that this is a great first experience!


  1. Hardy's original readers had no English degrees at all, and every one of them, at some point, at least, had no experience reading Hardy.

    So I think you'll be all right.

  2. I was a teenager when I read this, but I remember loving it. I love Hardy even though he really knows how to depress me. Far From the Madding Crowd is my favorite.

  3. Gosh I hope that you enjoy it and your exploration in Hardy - he is the kind of writer who you need to give time to in my opinion but his work is very rewarding. Looking forward to reading your thoughts.

    Thanks for sharing


  4. I read far from the madding crowd when I was about 18 at that time I was reading alot of plot driven books but I still found it an enjoyable read. Prepare to be depressed after reading Jude though ;)

  5. Good luck. My only experience with Hardy is with Tess of the D'Urbervilles and I was unimpressed

  6. I too had an English major and I've been reading more in the past few years than ever I did when studying in school. I feel quite unprepared for much of the literature I pick up! I can relate.

    I have not read Hardy yet. I'm afraid of him for some reason, I think because I've heard how depressing his subject matter is...