Henchard really is a man of character, as the title suggests, and he is prone to jealousy, impulsiveness and malice but in turn he can be caring, warm and reflective meaning that the reader never hates him, but actually feels for him as he is his own harshest critic. It's bleaker than Bleak House! Fate watches and smiles or cries. It was issued with a small print run of only 750 copies. Meanwhile, Michael finds Susan's letter and reads it. Henchard takes a liking to the man, persuades him not to emigrate, and hires him as his corn , rudely turning away a man named Jopp to whom he had already offered the job.
The consequences of attempting to escape your past, the tragedies of a drunken mistake, the all-too convenient coincidences that define your present and future are heavy struggles for Henchard. Susan and her daughter Elizabeth-Jane come back to the fair, seeking news about Henchard. But what an entertaining story this is! They didn't mean to kill her. Even this reconciliation is threatened by a surprise visit from Newson, whom everyone thought dead. He goes to Ten Hatches — the name of the junction where the river runs deep — and contemplates suicide.
Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators. Farfrae is a Scotchman who is brilliant in ideas and impresses Henchard by his knowledge of making grown wheat suitable for baking. Maybe it is the credible characterisation, maybe it is the subtle turns of plot that make you smile, frown, cross and shout in fury at the pig-headed yet immensely warm protogonist Henchard. He's one of literature's great gaping assholes, and that's quite an achievement. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world.
The story takes S-curves and turnabouts until Henchard's pride gets the best of him, he returns to booze and he's ruined emotionally and publicly. Character is just as responsible for the foibles of mankind as Fate is. Swing your partners, one two three. The two men become friends, and Elizabeth-Jane develops a crush on Farfrae. Hardy cares so much about Henchard the mayor that he can't leave him alone. I had to read this in high school.
His people earn the good and bad that happens by how they interact with the world around them, by their meanness or their generosity, their straightforwardness or their double-dealing. This is the second book of his that I have read the first being Tess and I now fully intend to gorge myself on the rest this year. Henchard returns with daughter Eliza-Jane years later when the girl is 18. Henchard consumes too many bowls of furmity spiked with rum. He swears a solemn oath not to drink any more alcohol for twenty years. She felt none of those ups and downs of spirit which beset so many people without cause; never—to paraphrase a recent poet—never a gloom in Elizabeth-Jane's soul but she well knew how it came there; and her present cheerfulness was fairly proportionate to her solid guarantees for the same. Henchard is confused as to how to make good on his bad acts.
He tells Elizabeth-Jane that Michael is dead. He does a magnificient job, particularly with Henchard and Farfarie, although in common with most male narrators he struggles with young female voices. At some point, I think he even made a reference to Far from the Madding Crowd by mentioning the name Everdene, Bathsheba's last name, during a scene at the market and I couldn't help but smile. Thomas Hardy creates a masterpiece in describing the rise and fall of one Michael Henchard. Then things start to unravel. Chance often brings chraracters: Farfrae and Lucetta are brought to Casterbridge quite unexpectedly, but their arrivals ruin the lives of the Henchards.
Think of it this way. Henchard reconciles with Elizabeth-Jane, who continues to believe Henchard is her father. Lucetta invites Michael to her home, even going so far as to send Elizabeth-Jane away on errands just to convince him to visit. He makes a sincere proposal to Elizabeth to change her name to Henchard. Susan dies, leaving a letter for Michael that is not to be opened until Elizabeth-Jane's wedding-day. Susan complies, and soon after they marry.
Elizabeth to a crewman called Newson at the fairgrounds of Weydon- Priors. Turns out that Newson hadn't really drowned when Susan thought he did. Later, Henchard challenges Farfrae to a fight to the death. She did concur with Hardy, however, in noting that he has tried to pack in too many incidents. Henchard treats Susan and her daughter very fairly and in a very gentlemanly manner. He offers to buy Susan and Elizabeth-Jane for five guineas, first making sure that Susan is willing to go.
The Mayor of Casterbridge was no different in that sense. If Thomas Hardy's Wessex region was a real place the British government would probably have to nuke it as nothing but misery seems to go on there, as recounted in , , and other bleak-fests I am excluding here because I find it quite cheerful by his melancholic standard only a few tissue papers required instead of a whole box of Kleenex. There are many things that have stayed with me from those days, but little quite as much as this book. I'd heard Hardy was a bit of a chore, so instead of his chunky novels I went slender with The Mayor of Casterbridge as my first. This is the fourth Hardy novel I have read and it is definitely my favorite.
I may go back and read it again at some point. Susan returns to Casterbridge after 18 old ages to happen Henchard because Newson. Henchard is now the influential Mayor of Casterbridge Dorchester , a successful businessman in the corn and hay trade, only a few miles from his crime, a secret that still causes him much pain and suffering, he has vowed and kept this oath, not to partake any intoxicating beverages for 21 years, his age during the scandalous incident. After spending several weeks immersed in research, Hardy began to write the novel that would become in the summer of 1884. In my early 20s, I read 'Tess' and 'Jude'.