The Mayor of Casterbridge; a depressing masterclass from Hardy

mayor of casterbridgeMy rating: 3 stars (out of 5)

I read a little Hardy when I was at university but after reading Jude the Obscure and being completely depressed, I gave him up. I like real life, but he’s always so, well, downbeat. Now with the release of Far From the Madding Crowd and having seen the stylish BBC adaptation of Tess of the D’Urbervilles, I opened the first page of The Mayor of Casterbridge and got a shock. It was a true masterclass in how to hook a reader; a manĀ fed up with his wife and child, and very drunk, auctions them off to the highest bidder in a bar. He wakes up hours later slumped on the very same bar stool, only to realise that his wife and child did actually go with the man, in exchange for 5 pounds. Years later, he has worked his way up to become the Mayor of a town called Casterbridge, when his wife and child re-emerge. And so begins his downfall…Continue Reading