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The Life and Death of the Mayor of Casterbridge (1965)
The Life and Death of the Mayor of Casterbridge - 1965 Author:Thomas Hardy Synopsis — Hardy's novel begins with the famous scene in which Michael Henchard, a young farmer, gets drunk at a village fair and sells his wife and baby daughter to a passing sailor for five guineas. The consequences of this impulsive act are regrettable and far-reaching, and culminate in Henchard's ruin and his death in obscurity as a lonely ol... more »d man. Henchard is similar to the heroes of Greek tragedies who destroy themselves through weaknesses in their own character. (The subtitle of the novel is "The Life and Death of a Man of Character.")
First Line: "One evening of late summer, before the nineteenth century had reached one third of its span, a young man and woman, the latter carrying a child, were approaching the large village of Weydon-Priors, in Upper Wessex, on foot."
Hardy's 1866 novel gets the red carpet treatment here. Like Broadview's recent edition of Dracula (Classic Returns, LJ 1/98), this includes a scholarly preface and introduction, a chronicle of Hardy's life, and several appendixes. All that for $9.95 makes this an absolute steal.