Product Code: B2D5751
ISBN: 9781804454862Titles in this set:
- The Mayor of Casterbridge
- Tess of the d'Urbervilles
- The Return of the Native
- Far from the Madding Crowd
- Jude the Obscure
The Mayor of Casterbridge
Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge recounts the life of Michael Henchard and the tragic events leading to his death.
Having sold his wife, Susan, and their daughter, Elizabeth-Jane, to a sailor at a fair in Weydon-Priors in a drunken stupor, Michael takes an oath to abstain from alcohol for twenty-one years. He goes to live in Casterbridge and rises from a hay-trusser to the mayor of the town. Years later, Susan returns in search of her husband, oblivious of the latter's elevated social status.
Hardy's novel keeps us on the edge, as chance and coincidence expose the hidden truths of the past, build and break friendships, unite and separate lovers, through a concatenation of fantastic circumstances.
What happens to Susan and Elizabeth after they go on to live with the sailor? Will Mr. Henchard be reunited with his wife and daughter?
Tess of the d'Urbervilles
When poor haggler John Durbeyfield discovers a connection to an old lineage, his young, naive daughter Tess is sent out to claim kinship and make an appeal for help. Upon arrival, she is seduced by dissipated Alec d'Urberville. She gives birth in secret and loses the child. Later, Tess as a dairymaid meets and marries the morally upright Angel Clare, who abandons her after learning of her past.
What happens when Angel comes back to her? A tragedy of an insurmountable proportion occurs, ending in the death of one of the main characters of the story.
The story touches on many themes paganism, rich vs poor, rural vs urban, farmers vs the elite that are still relevant today, making it an interesting and topical read.
The Return of the Native
The novel's farmers, innkeepers, sons, mothers, and lovers are mirrored in the changing face of the heath. Clym Yeobright returns from living a worldly life in Paris. He and his cousin Thomasin, her fiancé Damon Wildeve, and the obstinate Eustacia Vye are the main characters in this story of destined love, passion, alienation, and melancholy as Hardy masterfully explores a theme so prevalent throughout his fiction the treacherous role of chance in determining a life's course.
Far from the Madding Crowd
Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy is a tale set in the idyllic, and often harsh, rural England of the 19th century. Playful, tragic, and gay, the story winds around the life of the beautiful, free-spirited Bathsheba Everdene and her unexpected encounters with love and betrayal.
Who is Bathsheba destined to love? Is it the loyal Gabriel Oak, the obsessed William Boldwood, or the cunning and squandering Sergeant Troy?
Jude the Obscure
The release of Jude the Obscure triggered an uproar, heralding the end of Thomas Hardy's career as a novelist because of its bold exploration of class and sexual connections.
When Jude Fawley is forced to marry the untamed, earthy Arabella, who eventually deserts him, his dreams of attending Christminster University are dashed.
After relocating to Christminster to work as a stonemason, Jude meets and falls in love with Sue Bridehead, a sensitive, free-spirited woman. Jude and Sue opt to live together rather than be married just for the sake of religious tradition. But they are rejected by society, and poverty soon threatens to destroy them.
Will love survive against all odds?