Set in his fictional Wessex countryside in southwest England, Far from the Madding Crowd was Thomas Hardy's breakthrough work. Though it was first published anonymously in 1874, the quick and tremendous success of Far from the Madding Crowd persuaded Hardy to give up his first profession, architecture, to concentrate on writing fiction. The story of the ill-fated passions of the beautiful Bathsheba Everdene and her three suitors offers a spectacle of country life brimming with an energy and charm not customarily associated with Hardy. ('When Farmer Oak smiled,' the novel begins, 'the corners of his mouth spread till they were within an unimportant distance of his ears. . . .')
The text is based on the authoritative Wessex Edition of 1912, revised and corrected by Hardy himself.
This edition is the companion volume to the Mobil Masterpiece Theatre WGBH television presentation broadcast on PBS. It stars Paloma Baeza as Bathsheba Everdene, Nathaniel Parker as Gabriel Oak, Nigel Terry as Mr. Boldwood, and Jonathan Firth as Frank Troy. Adapted by Philomena McDonagh, Far from the Madding Crowd is directed by Nick Renton.
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|Title of eBook: Far from the Madding Crowd|
|Release Date: 10-31-2000|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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Far from the Madding Crowd
When Farmer Oak smiled, the corners of his mouth spread till they were within an unimportant distance of his ears, his eyes were reduced to chinks, and diverging wrinkles appeared round them, extending upon his countenance like the rays in a rudimentary sketch of the rising sun.
His Christian name was Gabriel,and on working days he was a young man of sound judgment, easy motions, proper dress, and general good character. On Sundays he was a man of misty views, rather given to postponing, and hampered by his best clothes and umbrella: upon the whole, one who felt himself to occupy morally that vast middle space of Laodicean neutrality which lay between the Communion people of the parish and the drunken section,—that is, he went to church, but yawned privately by the time the congregation reached the Nicene creed, and thought of what there would be for dinner when he meant to be listening to the sermon. Or, to state his character as it stood in the scale of public opinion, when his friends and critics were in tantrums, he was considered rather a bad man; when they were pleased, he was rather a good man; when they were neither, he was a man whose moral colour was a kind of pepper-and-salt mixture.
Since he lived six times as many working-days as Sundays, Oak’s appearance in his old clothes was most peculiarly his own—the mental picture formed by his neighbours in imagining him being always dressed in that way. He wore a low-crowned felt hat, spread out at the base by tight jamming upon the head for security in high winds, and a coat like Dr. Johnson’s,4 his lower extremities being encased in ordinary leather leggings and boo...