Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Far from a Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

These two months have been hectic months for me, and I know I’m much behind my schedule in this (and other) challenge(s). Although I kept reading, I could not find time, focus, and energy to write any reviews. Today, as I find myself more relaxed, I force myself to write this. Hopefully I can catch up again for the rest of this semester. Now, Far from a Madding Crowd turned out to be my new favorite. I think I have picked the right book to begin with Hardy. I really enjoyed it, and now am ready to read his other books.

I loved Gabriel Oak (he is now one of my most favorite characters), and loved the rural country life presented by Hardy. Bathseba Everdeen is a combination of proud, vigor, and beauty. She is loved by three men—passionately by Sergeant Troy, possessively by Farmer Boldwood, and quietly by Shepherd Oak. When she inherited a farm from her uncle, Batsheba felt independent. She thought she could just rely on her passion, and the world would be as she wanted to be. Folly after folly, and only after reaping what she had sown, did she realize that there is no independence without responsibility.

While Batsheba represents female emancipation, Gabriel Oak represents hard work and perseverance; two perfect themes for a Victorian novel, combined with a slight touch of realism in Hardy’s writing. That makes Far from a Madding Crowd a wonderful reading!

Four and a half stars for Oak and Hardy!

I read Penguin English Library paperback

This book is counted for:


  1. Still have to read this novel. I've read Under the Greenwood Tree by Hardy and I liked his writing, so I think I'll enjoy this one. It's already on my bookshelf, patiently waiting next to Tess of the D'Urbervilles ...

  2. This is my favorite Hardy novel, and I recently reread it. I too love Gabriel Oak, and find Bathsheba to be an interesting character, as are Boldwood and Troy, as contrasts to Oak and reflections of Bathsheba's conflicted personality.

    Good review!

  3. I just saw the movie for this book, and I LOVED it; immediately I added the book to my TBR list. Now I see you really liked it, so I think this is one I will definitely read next year. I had read Hardy's The Return of the Native some years ago, and it has stayed with me ever since. He is a wonderful artist when it comes to writing about the natural settings for his novels.

    When you get a chance, you should see the movie, "Far From the Madding Crowd" (2015).

  4. I love how you differentiates between the three men by their passionate vs possessive vs quiet love. Spent on!

    Here is my Classic Club review of this classic, if interested: https://elle-alice.blogspot.com/2020/08/the-classics-club-far-from-madding-crowd.html

    1. Hello Elena, thanks.
      Would love to visit your blog!


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