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 confident presence draws three very different suitors: the gentleman-farmer Boldwood, soldier-seducer Sergeant Troy and the devoted Shepard Gabriel Oak. Each, in contrasting ways, unsettles her decisions and complicates her life, and when tragedy ensues, the stability of the whole community is threatened. The first of his works set in Wessex, Thomas Hardy's novel of swift passion and slow courtship is imbued with his evocative descriptions of rural life and landscapes, and with unflinching honesty about sexual relationships. This edition, based on Hardy's original 1874 manuscript, is the complete novel he never saw published, and restores its full candour and innovation. Rosemarie Morgan's introduction discusses the history of its publication, and the Biblical and classical allusions that permeate the novel.
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