On a drunken impulse, Michael Henchard, a hay-trusser by trade, sells his wife Susan and their child to a sailor. Years later, Susan returns to Casterbridge a widow, to seek her legal husband who is, surprisingly, now the Mayor.
‘Hardy’s is a world that can never disappear’ Margaret Drabble
Subtitled ‘A Story of a Man of Character’, Hardy’s powerful study of the heroic but deeply flawed Michael Henchard is an intensely dramatic work, tragically played out against the vivid backdrop of a close-knit Dorsetshire town. Its events are set in motion when, in a fit of drunken anger, Henchard sells his wife and baby daughter for five guineas at a country fair. Over the course of the following years, he manages to establish himself as a respected pillar of the community of Casterbridge, but behind his success lurks the shameful secret of his past.
Edited with an Introduction and Notes by Keith Wilson