All you need to know about Thomas Hardy's Far from the Madding Crowd is in this advanced guide to the text. Connell Guides are advanced guide books that offer sophisticated analysis and broad critical perspectives for higher-level GCSE and A Level English Literature students. Written by leading academics, Connell Guides are clear, concise and beautifully designed to help students understand, and enjoy, great works of literature. They are perfect for coursework, revision and exam preparation. Connell Guides are also great reads themselves scholarly, yet approachable and entertaining.
Far from the Madding Crowd was the novel Victorian readers wanted Thomas Hardy to write over and over again. It is also a story marked by what one Victorian critic called “violent sensationalism” – marital desertion, illegitimacy, death in childbirth, murder, attempted suicide and insanity. Hardy could never wholly ignore the darker aspects of rural life. Yet, as Phillip Mallet shows in this incisive study, this is not a dark novel: it has an extraordinary warmth and charm which makes reading it, and studying it, one of the most satisfying experiences English literature has to offer.