Far from the Madding Crowd


Read by LibriVox Volunteers

(4.4 stars; 47 reviews)

Far from the Madding Crowd (1874) is Thomas Hardy's fourth novel and offers in ample measure the details of English rural life that Hardy so relished. Hardy's growing taste for tragedy is also evident in the novel. It first appeared, anonymously, as a monthly magazine serial, where it gained a wide readership and critical acclaim. According to Virginia Woolf, "The subject was right; the method was right; the poet and the countryman, the sensual man, the sombre reflective man, the man of learning, all enlisted to produce a book which . . . must hold its place among the great English novels." The book is often regarded as an early piece of feminist literature, since it features an independent woman with the courage to defy convention by running a farm herself. Although Bathsheba's passionate nature leads her into serious errors of judgment, Hardy endows her with sufficient resilience, intelligence, and good luck to overcome her youthful folly. (14 hr 40 min)

Chapters

01 - Description of Farmer Oak--An Incident 11:23 Read by Lee Ann Howlett
02 - Night--The Flock--An Interior--Another Interior 19:35 Read by Simon Evers
03 - A Girl on Horseback--Conversation 18:58 Read by Simon Evers
04 - Gabriel's Resolve--The Visit--The Mistake 20:25 Read by Patti Brugman
05 - Departure of Bathsheba--A Pastoral Tragedy 11:38 Read by Patti Brugman
06 - The Fair--The Journey--The Fire 19:46 Read by Lee Ann Howlett
07 - Recognition--A Timid Girl 9:18 Read by Lucy Burgoyne (1950 - 2014)
08 - The Malthouse--The Chat--News 48:45 Read by Lucy Burgoyne (1950 - 2014)
09 - The Homestead--A Visitor--Half-Confidences 15:10 Read by Lucy Burgoyne (1950 - 2014)
10 - Mistress and Men 13:29 Read by Simon Evers
11 - Outside the Barracks--Snow--A Meeting 11:57 Read by Simon Evers
12 - Farmers--A Rule--An Exception 10:11 Read by Lee Ann Howlett
13 - Sortes Sanctorum--The Valentine 8:45 Read by Lee Ann Howlett
14 - Effect of the Letter--Sunrise 10:07 Read by Simon Evers
15 - A Morning Meeting--The Letter Again 22:55 Read by Simon Evers
16 - All Saints' and All Souls' 6:58 Read by Simon Evers
17 - In the Market-Place 5:39 Read by Lee Ann Howlett
18 - Boldwood in Meditation--Regret 10:05 Read by Lee Ann Howlett
19 - The Sheep-Washing--The Offer 12:27 Read by Lee Ann Howlett
20 - Perplexity--Grinding the Shears--A Quarrel 12:46 Read by Lee Ann Howlett
21 - Troubles in the Fold--A Message 12:38 Read by E. Plein
22 - The Great Barn and the Sheep-Shearers 21:13 Read by E. Plein
23 - Eventide--A Second Declaration 13:50 Read by Lee Ann Howlett
24 - The Same Night--The Fir Plantation 13:20 Read by Lee Ann Howlett
25 - The New Acquaintance Described 7:45 Read by Lee Ann Howlett
26 - Scene on the Verge of the Hay-Mead 18:30 Read by Lee Ann Howlett
27 - Hiving the Bees 7:21 Read by hefyd
28 - The Hollow Amid the Ferns 12:33 Read by hefyd
29 - Particulars of a Twilight Walk 16:42 Read by hefyd
30 - Hot Cheeks and Tearful Eyes 10:31 Read by hefyd
31 - Blame--Fury 19:41 Read by hefyd
32 - Night--Horses Tramping 19:32 Read by Tracey Norman
33 - In the Sun--A Harbinger 14:27 Read by J. M. Smallheer
34 - Home Again--A Trickster 19:51 Read by Lee Ann Howlett
35 - At an Upper Window 8:05 Read by Lee Ann Howlett
36 - Wealth in Jeopardy--The Revel 17:52 Read by Lee Ann Howlett
37 - The Storm--The Two Together 15:04 Read by Lee Ann Howlett
38 - Rain--One Solitary Meets Another 7:40 Read by Sarah Jennings
39 - Coming Home--A Cry 8:16 Read by Lee Ann Howlett
40 - On Casterbridge Highway 17:53 Read by Simon Evers
41 - Suspicion--Fanny Is Sent For 22:27 Read by Simon Evers
42 - Joseph and His Burden--Buck's Head 25:12 Read by Simon Evers
43 - Fanny's Revenge 21:02 Read by Lee Ann Howlett
44 - Under a Tree--Reaction 15:11 Read by Lee Ann Howlett
45 - Troy's Romanticism 9:55 Read by Lee Ann Howlett
46 - The Gurgoyle: Its Doings 15:27 Read by J. M. Smallheer
47 - Adventures by the Shore 8:09 Read by George Deprez, PhD
48 - Doubts Arise--Doubts Linger 12:34 Read by Simon Evers
49 - Oak's Advancement--A Great Hope 13:01 Read by Simon Evers
50 - The Sheep Fair--Troy Touches His Wife's Hand 33:53 Read by Simon Evers
51 - Bathsheba Talks with Her Outrider 20:05 Read by John Lieder
52 - Converging Courses 22:15 Read by Simon Evers
53 - Concurritur--Horae Momento 25:14 Read by Simon Evers
54 - After the Shock 10:44 Read by Simon Evers
55 - The March Following--"Bathsheba Boldwood" 10:50 Read by Simon Evers
56 - Beauty in Loneliness--After All 19:25 Read by Lee Ann Howlett
57 - A Foggy Night and Morning--Conclusion 11:50 Read by Lee Ann Howlett

Reviews

English Lit gets out of the parlor and onto the farm


(4 stars)

Summary from Librivox: Far from the Madding Crowd (1874) is Thomas Hardy’s fourth novel and offers in ample measure the details of English rural life that Hardy so relished. Hardy’s growing taste for tragedy is also evident in the novel. It first appeared, anonymously, as a monthly magazine serial, where it gained a wide readership and critical acclaim. According to Virginia Woolf, “The subject was right; the method was right; the poet and the countryman, the sensual man, the sombre reflective man, the man of learning, all enlisted to produce a book which . . . must hold its place among the great English novels.” The book is often regarded as an early piece of feminist literature, since it features an independent woman with the courage to defy convention by running a farm herself. Although Bathsheba’s passionate nature leads her into serious errors of judgment, Hardy endows her with sufficient resilience, intelligence, and good luck to overcome her youthful folly. (summary abstracted from Wikipedia) My thoughts: It was fun to get out of the parlor and into the actual workings of an English farm. The collection of Librivox readers do a wonderful job - there were a few average readings, but most of the chapters were a joy to listen to.


(4.5 stars)

Loved it , not be able to see well I am very thankful for this free reading , Thank You

Wonderful story.


(3.5 stars)

Wonderful story full of surprises and plot twists. Hardy's description of the pastoral scene and daily farm life is absolutely beautiful. Bathsheba's coquettish character receives fair treatment and in the end, her lessons learned lead her to the truest of loves: that of a deep and abiding friendship.

Another great novel by the inimitable Thomas Hardy


(5 stars)

Thank you Simon Evers, the late Lucy Burgoyne (1950 - 2014),E. Plein,hefyd,Tracey Norman, Lee Ann Howlett, Sarah Jennings, and to all the readers in this excellent collaborative. And thanks to Librivox, Internet Archive and all the volunteers who make this free service so precious to so many of us. I wish E.Plein read more for librivox. also I love the mature, down to earth British voice(not the queen's english "sound") of Lucy Burgoyne. She was taken from us too soon and surely she is in a better place now. Thanks to Librivox and IA, her voice and temporal spirit lives on for us to enjoy now and in future. The first ten chapters are wonderful, witty and humorous, peppered with a bit of uplifting profundity. fine fun. Hardy's "common folk" characters are inimitable. As usual with Hardy the novel becomes one of relationships and incidents initially seemingly trivial become complex and two become tragic. Hardy like Dostoevsky is also quite a psychologist. SPOILER ALERT!!! the decent man is finally loved by the complex, intelligent, yet capricious at others and her expense, but sympathetic woman who rejects him at first. i.e. happy ending To me it seems human civilization has one major cyclical constant: the march of time is either ankle to to over the head deep in sorrow, strife misery, suffering, destruction, war and untimely deaths that are the result. A quote of Hardy's may give some of us hope: "The Christian god – the external personality – has been replaced by the intelligence of the First Cause...the replacement of the old concept of God as all-powerful by a new concept of universal consciousness. The 'tribal god, man-shaped, fiery-faced and tyrannous' is replaced by the 'unconscious will of the Universe' which progressively grows aware of itself and 'ultimately, it is to be hoped, sympathetic'." To most, Hardy's novels contain more than anything else cynicism(well the true ancient cynic Diogenes was filled with sympathy for others but not the ethics and social psychology of the time). Not at all he is just being realistic, "naturalism". It is sympathy that stands out in Hardy's work, i think. We seem to have lost that brotherly and sisterly love for one another. Eschew this nonsense about mental disorder, empathy, compassion(i.e."love" at the end of a ten foot pole)etc. active sympathy, that is love in the broadest sense, i think does heal all. whether the love between two people, with friends, with family(one can have a little slack here. family members can be the most difficult to love) or the love for our fellow man(gender neutral). btw, on Sgt Troy's and Fanny's wedding day. So ok Fanny shows up an hour late. Why couldn't poor Fanny or Troy not grab the vicar and still be married at that one hour late moment? well i suppose it is that Sgt Troy while not a totally unfeeling psychopath, i think he was an undependable, irresponsible, egocentric rural lower middle class rake. However, Sgt Troy unlike Boldwood and Oak, was not possessive, he unlike many men was not obsessive of "owning" a woman's mind body and soul. Oak and Boldwood's flaw was possessiveness towards Bathsheba and naturally as a young independent woman she rejected them. Gentleman Farmer Boldwood was and became far more dangerous than Troy. SPOILER ALERT!!! If it ended with Farmer Boldwood winning Bathsheba Eberdean, she would probably "would have gone the way" of Sargeant Troy too.

Artistically Written


(4 stars)

Took a little while to get into it, and it’s not one of my faves. But it was beautifully written. The language is ear candy, and I loved the characters.

Far from the Madding Crowd


(5 stars)

Very good book mostly well read