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Far from the Madding Crowd Essay & Criticism

This Study Guide consists of approximately 31 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Far from the Madding Crowd.
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Critical Overview

Far from the Madding Crowd was Hardy's breakthrough novel. He had published three books before it, which generally left critics unimpressed. As Dale Kramer notes in Critical Essays on Thomas Hardy: The Novels, reviewers of Hardy's early works

were struck by the seemingly uncoordinated, coincidence-laden plots, and also by the rural settings where the sense of time was that of an idyll, by fantastic implausibilities mixed with poetic revelation of inner identities, and by the folklore of "Wessex" that resisted the importunities of modern existence.

Kramer later continues,

By the time of Far from the Madding Crowd even critical reviewers realized they were dealing with substantial works calling for judgment not in relation to popular writers of the day, but in relation to recognized masters.

Once Hardy's literary importance was established, critics were still divided in their analysis of his work. He faced tremendous pressure from his Victorian...

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This section contains 345 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Far from the Madding Crowd Study Guide
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Far from the Madding Crowd from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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