Book 20: Far From the Madding Crowd

Far From the Madding Crowd (1874) by Thomas Hardy is essentially about a bold young farmer who has three men courting her. I did not think I would find so much drama in a novel from the 1800s. I enjoyed every second of it, and it’s a LOT more Bollywood than you would think. It’s such a romcom, but more hilarious than romantic in my opinion.

“The twinkling of all the stars seemed to be but throbs of one body, timed by a common pulse”

Along with the romance comes beautiful prose. Thoughts and fantasies hidden by man’s poker face are described as river currents under a frozen surface. The description of the stars also enchant me, and the setting is so bucolic that it’s refreshing. The novel is never bulky or slow.

“There is no regular path for getting out of love as there is for getting in”

Hardy also makes a lot of deep insights on love, which are surprisingly still useful today.

“Silence has sometimes a remarkable power of showing itself as the disembodied soul of feeling wandering without its carcass, and it is then more emphatic than speech”

Our female protagonist is a lot more active and capable than I was expecting from a novel that is over two centuries old. She manages her own farm efficiently, and doesn’t make decisions based on anyone else’s whims.

“It is difficult for a woman to define her feelings in language which is chiefly made by men to express theirs”

I’m going to watch the movie, but looking at the trailer I feel like the casting is all wrong. I feel like Adelaide Kane should have been cast as Bathsheba for sure. Maybe Scott Eastwood as Gabriel Oak, Adrian Brody for Boldwood and someone Gaston-esque for Troy.

 

3 thoughts on “Book 20: Far From the Madding Crowd

    1. I went out and bought Tess of the D’Ubervilles because I loved this. I also found out, however, that FFMC is considered Hardy’s happiest novel so I’m going to miss this comparatively sunshine-y demeanour.

      Liked by 1 person

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