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 contrasting ways, unsettles her decisions and complicates her life, and tragedy ensues, threatening the stability of the whole community. The first of his works set in Wessex, 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.
Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
Published 1874 by Cornhill Magazine
Format: Paperback; 433 pages
Also By This Author: Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Jude the Obscure
Goodreads | Amazon
My Rating: ♥♥♥
It has taken me MONTHS to write this review of Thomas Hardy’s classic, Far From the Madding Crowd, probably because I have so many mixed feelings over it. It’s one of my best friend’s favorite books, so I really wanted to love it when I first started reading it last spring/summer. It wasn’t hard to fall in love with Gabriel’s loyal character, and I even admired Bathsheba from time to time. But I had a difficult time connecting with the storyline, which caused me to keep putting the book down and picking it back up weeks later.
The one thing that kept me in pursuit of finishing Far From the Madding Crowd was a very exciting project I had the opportunity to work on: a literary-inspired webseries adaptation!
If you’ve ever happened to explore the menu on the right side of my bog, you may have inferred that I am a fan of webseries, especially those of a literary persuasion. My absolute favorite webseries is Green Gables Fables, a modern adaptation of my favorite novel, Anne of Green Gables. I’ve always dreamed that it would be fun and challenging to work on a LIW, but never had the opportunity before an online friend, Hazel, started putting a team together to turn Far From the Madding Crowd into a modern webseries.
You can check out the currently running series, Away From it All, here. The AFiT universe is expansive and ranges across many media platforms such as Twitter, Youtube videos, Tumblr, and even text messages!
I wrote/co-wrote three episodes, two of which have already aired. Having never written anything that was “published,” I was really nervous about this project! But overall I had fun and I learned a great deal about screenwriting, fictional character development, and all that a webseries production entails (which is to say, A TON). I’m grateful for the opportunity to become more involved in this community of artistic classic-lit-lovers.
I wish I enjoyed Far From the Madding Crowd more, but I’m not too surprised considering that Bathsheba was an unlikable character in my opinion. I’ve read rumors that Hardy did not have a very positive outlook on women, so maybe that attributed to some of my impressions. Like I said, I admired her character in a lot of ways. I just don’t think she’d be someone I’d get along with in real life ;)
Read This Book If…
…you love reading classics, especially “chunky” ones.
…you like stories with love triangles (or you aren’t turned off by them, at least).
…you appreciate strong minded female characters who are also feminine and delicate, at times.
…you enjoy novels that focus on genteel living in the 1800s.
One of the other developers/writers/transmedia experts has started her own production of an adaptation of A Comedy of Errors, which she’s invited me to join, and I’m really looking forward to working on a modern Shakespeare adaptation! Check back later for more info on that project :)
9 thoughts on “Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy”
Ah it’s so exciting you are involved with the webseries adaptation!! I haven’t read this book, but I didn’t have a great experience with Tess of the D’Ubervilles, so I never picked up any more. The film version of “Madding Crowd” with Carey Mulligan looked interesting though, so I wanted to watch that. I should watch the movie and then the webseries adaptation then! :)
I did enjoy the movie version! It was more enjoyable than the book was, in my opinion (plus great acting helps).
It is so cool that you got to work on that webseries! That’s something that I dream about doing with my students as a school project one day! I introduced them to a Web series based on Gatsby last year, but it wasn’t that great, honestly. I more just did it to introduce them to the concept of people adapting classic lit into a webseries, because most of them had no idea that was even a thing. It’s hard to find adapted American classics! Most of them are British!
On Mar 16, 2017 8:02 AM, “macarons & paperbacks” wrote:
> Maggie @ macarons & paperbacks posted: ” 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” >
There’s a Little Women adaptation by the makers of Lizzie Bennet Diaries! It’s called March Family Letters. There’s also an Edgar Allan poe series called a tell tale blog (they recently made a murder mystery party show, too)
That’s awesome you got to help with the project! I’ll have to check it out even though I haven’t read the source material.
I hate period pieces. Nonetheless, I do love Thomas Hardy and Far From the Madding Crowd happens to be one of my favourite books. Add in a director that I love and an outstanding cast and it results in a period piece that is not only tolerable but also enjoyable. Carey Mulligan reinforces her outstanding acting ability to rise above the rest of the Madding Crowd.
I actually love period pieces and classic Victorian novels, but I had a hard time caring about Bathsheba. Unfortunately, it is really hard for me to enjoy a novel when I don’t connect with the main character. But I did enjoy the movie, mainly because of the cast :)
Great review! I wasn’t sold on the story at first, but eventually got sucked in. I just read and reviewed it as part of my Classics Club list and will link the review in my name, if interested. I enjoyed the movie adaptation. I’m so curious about the web series you mentioned and will definitely check it out! What a fun experience to write a episode!
Thank you for sharing thhis