Far from the Madding Crowd (Paperback)
Far from the Madding Crowd was the first of Hardy's novels to apply the name of Wessex to the landscape of south-west England, and the first to gain him widespread popularity as a novelist. When the beautiful and spirited Bathsheba Everdene inherits her own farm, she attracts three very different suitors; the seemingly commonplace man-of-the-soil Gabriel Oak, the dashing young soldier Francis Troy, and the respectable, middle-aged Farmer Boldwood. Her choice, and the tragedy it provokes, lie at the centre of Hardy's ambivalent story.Thomas Hardy was an English novelist and poet of the naturalist movement, although he has shown elements of the previous romantic and enlightenment periods of literature, such as his fascination with the supernatural. He regarded himself primarily as a poet and composed novels mainly for financial gain. The bulk of his work, set mainly in the semi-fictional land of Wessex, delineates characters struggling against their passions and circumstances. Hardy said that he first introduced Wessex in Far from the Madding Crowd, which was his first financially successful novel, so much so that we was able to give up architectural work and pursue a literary career.