Saturday, 2 January 2010

On this day...

Thomas Hardy's novel, 'The Mayor of Casterbridge', began to be published in serial form in 1886. Subtitled 'The Life and Death of a Man of Character', the novel ran in weekly instalments from January 2nd to 15th May in both 'The Graphic' and the American 'Harper's Weekly'. On May 10th, it was bound together in book form, with only 758 copies printed. Like later novels 'Tess of the d'Urbervilles' and 'Jude the Obscure', 'The Mayor of Casterbridge' holds many tragic qualities, beginning with the fateful decision of protagonist Michael Henchard to sell his wife and child. Ultimately what follows can be seen as an in-depth character study, examining how the deeds of the past haunt and dictate those of the present.

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