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Far From the Madding Crowd

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3.94  ·  Rating details ·  128,708 ratings  ·  6,020 reviews
Far from the Madding Crowd was Thomas Hardy's first major literary success, and it edited with an introduction and notes by Rosemarie Morgan and Shannon Russell in Penguin Classics.

Independent and spirited Bathsheba Everdene has come to Weatherbury to take up her position as a farmer on the largest estate in the area. Her bold presence draws three very different suitors: t
...more
Paperback, Penguin Classics, 433 pages
Published February 27th 2003 by Penguin Books (first published 1874)
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Keith Burnette Hardy took the title from Thomas Gray's poem Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard (1751).

Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife
Their sober wishe…more
Hardy took the title from Thomas Gray's poem Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard (1751).

Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife
Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray;
Along the cool sequester'd vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.

"Madding" means "frenzied" here.

Lucasta Miller points out that the title is an ironic literary joke as Gray is idealising the noiselessness and sequestered calm whereas Hardy "disrupts the idyll, and not just by introducing the sound and fury of an extreme plot ... he is out to subvert his readers' complacency".(less)
Jendela Tryst I absolutely loved it. I usually avoid Hardy because his books are often terribly dark, but this was written early in his career, I believe when he st…moreI absolutely loved it. I usually avoid Hardy because his books are often terribly dark, but this was written early in his career, I believe when he still had some hope left. It is extremely ahead of its time with a spirited and intelligent female protagonist.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.94  · 
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Christine PNW
Mar 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Two people have complained that there are spoilers in this review. Read at your own peril.

Hi! I'm Bathsheba Everdene!



And I'm Poor Decision-Making Bathsheba Everdene.



I sent a random Valentine to a guy on a neighboring farm asking him to marry me, even though I don't even like him! This turned him into an annoying semi-stalker who spent the next several years begging me to marry him for reals!

And then, in a further display of my terrible judgment, I married a philandering asshole who on
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Anne
This was just so good.

"Sheep are such unfortunate animals! - there's always something happening to them! I never knew a flock pass a year without getting into some scrape or other."

Sheep!



Sheeeeeep!!



More sheep!!!




I love sheep :) They are so cute! But sheep are actually not the reason why I love this book so much. That would be silly. But I do love the fact that Gabriel Oak was a shepherd, and not say, a pig farmer. Anyways! Even though this story takes place in rural Wessex and is filled with she
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Apatt
Apr 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"The heart wants what the heart wants"

No, that is not from this book. I just thought it would have been a good tagline for the 2015 movie adaptation of this classic (they went with "Based on the classic love story by Thomas Hardy" instead).

"Serve you right you silly cow"

That is also not from the book, but it's a sentence that popped into my mind while reading some later parts of the book.

"Fuck off Boldwood!"

Still not from the book but I wish it was.

"It is difficult for a woman to define her feel
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Henry Avila
Jul 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bathsheba Everdene a gorgeous, mesmerizing young woman, 22, ( the formerly poor, now rich girl ) she inherited a prosperous, large farm from her late uncle, set in rural Wessex , ( Dorset ) southwest England, in the 1860's, has three, very different suitors, common Gabriel Oak, eight years older a shepherd and fine flute player, who will soon lose his sheep, the first time he sees her, Miss Everdene is admiring herself in a hand mirror and smiling, William Boldwood, a wealthy, good looking farme ...more
Alok Mishra
Nov 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"I shall do one thing in this life -- one thing certain -- that is, love you, and long for you, and KEEP WANTING YOU till I die."

Tell me one guy who hacks the story and stands close to your heart - Oak!
I don't yet understand why Hary is put in the box of pessimists when he has always been a 'lover' who never wishes to lose the 'love'. Far from the Madding Crowd was prescribed in our syllabus for graduation and I enjoyed the book, no doubt. Hardy is a little detailed author, of course, but there
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Ahmad Sharabiani
Oct 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
846. Far From the Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
Far from the Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy, C1874
Characters: Gabriel Oak, Bathsheba Everdene, William Boldwood, Francis Troy, Fanny Robin.
Abstract: Independent and spirited Bathsheba Everdene has come to Weatherbury to take up her position as a farmer on the largest estate in the area. Her bold presence draws three very different suitors: the gentleman-farmer Boldwood, soldier-seducer Sergeant Troy and the devoted shepherd Gabriel Oak. Each, in contrast
...more
Helene Jeppesen
Jul 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a story! I was going to give it 4 stars, but the ending was so intense and wrapped everything up so beautifully that I had to rate it 5 stars.
What I love the most about this book is that it deals with an unorthodox woman. Bathsheba (I know, what a name?) is admired by a lot of men; still, she keeps on rejecting them one after another. She doesn't want to be like every other woman at that time who marries the first man to propose and has children. Bathsheba is stubborn and she's insecure, a
...more
Matthew
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Matthew by: Tiffany
This book can be summed up in one sentence: Bathsheba Everdene's milkshake brings all the boys to the yard.



Okay - now that I am more awake - I am ready for more of a review!

I was leaning 5 stars, but something about the end brought it down to 4.

Click the spoiler for my thoughts on the ending: (view spoiler)
...more
Kimber Silver
"You're begging me to go
Then making me stay
Why do you hurt me so bad?
It would help me to know
Do I stand in your way,
Or am I the best thing you've had?"

—Pat Benatar 'Love is a Battlefield'

I would have loved to reduce my reading speed, so that I could savour the lyrical prose, but I was unable to stop flipping pages as if my life depended on it. This book left me emotionally wrung out and wanting for nothing. I’ve seldom experienced such a feeling of complete exhaustion, coupled with a glowing sa
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Philip
4.75ish stars.

With a name like Bathsheba how much could we honestly expect from her? Imagine playing with her as a child, "Come here little Bathy-Bathy!" She was doomed from the start. And she was obviously one of those children who was told entirely too often how special she was and how pretty and how she could do anything she set her mind to. Poor Bathsheba.

Not that it should need to be said for a novel that's almost 150 years old, but in case you still haven't read this and plan on doing so
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Chavelli Sulikowska
‘Love is a possible strength in an actual weakness…’ What an exquisite and profound line.

It had been years since I read Tess, which is a favourite, but I think this goes one better. Here, it is all about the characters. Hardy’s characterisation is perfect. I related to Bathsheba, her confusions and follies as a young maturing woman, I sympathised with the long suffering Gabriel Oak who while consistently loving her, never lets her walk over the top of him, I pitied the lonely farmer Boldwood an
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Jr Bacdayan
Oct 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The poetry of motion is a phrase much in use, and to enjoy the epic form of that gratification it is necessary to stand on a hill at a small hour of the mass of civilized mankind, who are dreamwrapt and disregardful of all such proceedings at this time, long and quietly watch your stately progress through the stars."

While I was in the midst of reading this novel, I was struck by general wonderment with regards to the title of this book. Why "Far From the Madding Crowd"? It had always seemed tha
...more
Diane
Feb 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved escaping into this 19th-century English novel. I dove into it and found both comfort and sustenance.

One of my reading goals for 2017 is to make time for classics I haven't read yet, and Far From the Madding Crowd was perfect because this was my first Thomas Hardy book. The fact that I enjoy novels set in the English countryside was just a lucky bonus.

I had seen two different movie versions of the book, so I was familiar with the basic story: Strong Woman Refuses Wonderful Man; then Stron
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Graham Herrli
Apr 02, 2011 rated it did not like it
The only emotions that this book evoked for me were boredom and annoyance. The boredom stemmed largely from its predictable plotline and its verbose narrative style (and its utter failure to engage me intellectually, which may have made this verbosity pardonable). The annoyance stemmed from Hardy's method of creating the protagonist, Bathsheba. He repeatedly describes Bathsheba as being self-willed, confident, independent, and poised; but he only tells us this about her, while her actions demons ...more
Shovelmonkey1
Nov 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like a nice bit of sword play
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: the school curriculum from my own personal days of yore
Shelves: 1001-books
Ah Far from the Madding Crowd, even saying the book title aloud summons images of an overcrowded class room, sweaty adolescents and a fraught English teacher. I was forced to read this book when I was about thirteen. Other books I was forced to read, learn and regurgitate in vast, ungainly and probably largely misunderstood swathes include Macbeth, Hamlet, Rosencratz and Guildenstern are Dead, Pride and Prejudice, A Winters Tale, The Colour Purple and Wuthering Heights.

A diverse selection you m
...more
Susan's Reviews
May 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
They say all good tropes have a literary ancestry. I recall reading this quintessential "innocent country girl falls for philandering bad boy" story/trope years ago.

Bathsheba Everdene was a (nowadays "badass") heroine who inherited her late uncle's farm and made it thrive, with the help of Gabriel Oak. Gabriel has always loved Bathsheba, but the strong-willed Bathsheba rejects his marriage proposal. Indeed, she rejects all potential suitors - until she is bedazzled by the handsome (but secretly
...more
Emily May
By far my least favourite of the Hardy books I've read. It's hard to believe the Guardian named this one of the twenty greatest love stories (though I suppose with Wuthering Heights in first place for romance I should have known something was up.)

I've come to "get" Hardy, or so I felt before reading this; I thought I understood when picking up one of his books that I would be getting a depressing, but nevertheless compelling, story about people getting beaten down by this cruel, cruel world. The
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Luffy
Nov 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
For my O Level year, I had to make a choice. Either take English literature as my option, or take Hindi. I took the latter. Had I taken the former, I would have read Far From The Madding Crowd in my teens.

Now I'm in my late thirties. The mistake of passing over English Lit has been rectified, if only partly. I remember noticing my friends taking a hefty paperback tome to read their book assigned to them. How would I know that one day I'll be reading the book on a device that's so light, regardle
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Piyangie
Mar 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my first read of Thomas Hardy and it was such a rewarding read. I'm absolutely in love with his style of writing: the poetic and metaphoric language and his sense in detail to description. What a power of observation Hardy had possessed? Whether it is to human emotions, human psychology, the rural set up of the story, the structures, fixtures, weather or anything, his eye for observance and accuracy in detail throughout the book was simply amazing. This is what captured me more than the ...more
Melki
I almost didn't read this book, the February selection for my real-life book club. It seemed rather dull and there's a huge stack of yummier-looking books calling my name, saying "Read ME next!" BUT, since I'm the one who's always bitching to the group about how we need to read more classics, it seemed in poor taste for me to give this one a miss.

And, I'm glad I read it.

Even though Hardy's writing style took some getting used to. It's sort of wordy. Okay, it's really wordy. Near the beginning,
...more
Alex
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Thomas Hardy writes often about women, with a sympathy that looks a little like contempt. In Far From the Madding Crowd he lays out the options available to Bathsheba Everdene (yes, Katniss is named after her): Frank Troy is the dashing adventurer, charming and dissipated. He ensnares her in a ferny grove, showing off his swordplay. ("It will not take five minutes," he says, and we picture Hardy snickering.) Boldwood (that's what she said, lol) is the older, stolid man, a rural Casaubon, represe ...more
Margitte
There are several books titled Far From The Madding Crowd on GR. I was inspired to read Thomas Hardy's Victorian novel after reading Roger Brunyate's excellent review.

Published in 1874 for the first time as a novel, it depicted the social upheaval resulting from the changes in rural life in the industrial era. Customs and traditions disintegrated, and with that the security, stability and dignity it brought for the inhabitants. It was a period in which religious, political, scientific, and socia
...more
MJ Nicholls
Ever craved a comprehensive cataloguing of T. Hardy’s novels, ranked from finest to least shiniest? Then in true BuzzFeed tradition, here is a substanceless and unjustified list from my Thomas Hardy readings over the last decade, with zero additional text on each one, because I’ve been contributing to this site unpaid for eleven years, and no one at Goodreads management has ever thanked me for my unwavering loyalty. Anyway, let’s rank.

Thomas Hardy, RANKED

1 — The Woodlanders
2 — The Mayor of Cast
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Sawsan
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
"we are only as blind as we want to be"
sometimes the right way is clearly in front of us and however we chose to walk at wrong ways
19th Century novel at rural England of a young independent woman with three men in her life
a story of love, impulsive mistakes, and the courage to start over
Rachel
Oct 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, 2018
With how long this has been sitting on my currently reading shelf (a little over 4 months, I do believe) I'm sure you all were expecting me to come back with a scathing review. But it's quite the contrary - I'm happy to report that this was wonderful. It's just that I was in the mood to read this and then I wasn't and then I was again, and that's that mystery solved. This was my first Thomas Hardy, and I chose it because I'd already seen the Carey Mulligan film and fell very much in love with th ...more
Kim
Aug 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook

Far from the Madding Crowd is one of the three Thomas Hardy novels I’d read by the time I turned twenty. The others were Tess of the Durbervilles and Jude the Obscure. My twenty-year-old self was irritated by Tess’ passivity and found Jude’s life too depressing to contemplate. However, this novel had a few laughs and a conventionally happy ending, so even though it also has its fair share of madness, depression, despair and death, I was content to say that I liked it. I didn’t like it enough to
...more
Amit Mishra
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A classic! Farmer Oak and his emotions are immortal to me.
Ted
Dec 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
  
    
Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife,
Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray;
Along the cool sequester'd vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.
Thomas Gray, Elegy written in a Country Churchyard - 1751



Hopefully by the end of the review, the reader will have an idea of how Hardy was inspired by these lines.


Let's look at a discourse in chapter XXII of this book (short chapters, the words are on page 166) in which Hardy is talking about the rather staid sub
...more
Amy | littledevonnook
Feb 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Definitely one of my favourite classics of the year so far!

This novel centres around a female character name Bathsheba Everdene and the events that befall her as she tries to make her way in the world. When she takes ownership of a family farm she is quickly picked out by many men in the village and soon has a fair few marriage proposals. She must make up her mind as to who she is and what she plans on doing. Once she has made her choice she must make her bed and lie in it!

I found this to be su
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David Schaafsma
"I believe you saved my life, Miss. I don't know your name."
"I would just as soon not tell it."
"Still I should like to know."
"You can inquire at my aunt's—she will tell you."
"My name is Gabriel Oak."
"And mine isn't. You seem fond of yours in speaking it so decisively, Gabriel Oak."
"You see, it is the only one I shall ever have, and I must make the most of it."

“Well, what I mean is that I shouldn’t mind being a bride at a wedding, if I could be one without having a husband.”

Hardy published Far f
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Thomas Hardy, OM, was an English author of the naturalist movement, although in several poems he displays elements of the previous romantic and enlightenment periods of literature, such as his fascination with the supernatural. He regarded himself primarily as a poet and composed novels mainly for financial gain. The bulk of his work, set mainly in the semi-fictional land of Wessex, delineates cha ...more

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