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3rd Classic Book Giveaway: The Mayor of Casterbridge. Ends August 24th.

Thomas Hardy

Mymcbooks welcomes you to the 3rd Annual Classic Reading for Kids Event August 1 – 31. You can win from a list of classic books every week by taking part in the Classic Reading for Kids Giveaway. This week we feature Thomas Hardy Classic – The Mayor of Casterbridge. Ends August 24th.

About the Author: Thomas Hardy, OM (2 June 1840 – 11 January 1928) was an English novelist and poet. A Victorian realist, in the tradition of George Eliot, he was also influenced both in his novels and poetry by Romanticism, especially by William Wordsworth Charles Dickens is another important influence on Thomas Hardy. Like Dickens, he was also highly critical of much in Victorian society, though Hardy focused more on a declining rural society.

While Hardy wrote poetry throughout his life, and regarded himself primarily as a poet, his first collection was not published until 1898. Initially therefore he gained fame as the author of such novels as Far from the Madding Crowd (1874), The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886), Tess of the d’Urbervilles (1891), and Jude the Obscure (1895). However, since the 1950s Hardy has been recognized as a major poet, and had a significant influence on The Movement poets of the 1950s and 1960s, including Phillip Larkin.

The bulk of his fictional works, initially published as serials in magazines, were set in the semi-fictional region of Wessex and explored tragic characters struggling against their passions and social circumstances. Hardy’s Wessex is based on the medieval Anglo-Saxon kingdom and eventually came to include the counties of Dorset, Wiltshire, Somerset, Devon, Hampshire and much of Berkshire, in south west England.


 The Mayor of Casterbridge

About the Book: The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886), subtitled “The Life and Death of a Man of Character”, is a tragic novel by British author Thomas Hardy. It is set in the fictional town of Casterbridge (based on the town of Dorchester in Dorset). The book is one of Hardy’s Wessex novels, all set in a fictional rustic England. The novel is often considered one of Hardy’s greatest works.

At a country fair near Casterbridge, Wessex, a young hay-trusser named Michael Henchard overindulges in rum-laced furmity and quarrels with his wife, Susan. Spurred by alcohol, he decides to auction off his wife and baby daughter, Elizabeth-Jane, to a sailor, Mr. Newson, for five guineas. Once sober the next day, he is too late to recover his family, particularly since his reluctance to reveal his own bad conduct keeps him from conducting an effective search. When he realizes that his wife and daughter are gone, probably for good, he swears not to touch liquor again for as many years as he has lived so far (21).

Eighteen years later, Henchard, now a successful grain merchant, is the eponymous Mayor of Casterbridge, known for his staunch sobriety. He is well respected for his financial acumen and his work ethic, but he is not well liked. Impulsive, selfish behavior and a violent temper are still part of his character, as are dishonesty and secretive activity.

All these years, Henchard has kept the details surrounding the “loss” of his wife a secret. The people in Casterbridge believe he is a widower, although he never explicitly says that his first wife died. He lies by omission instead, allowing other people to believe something false. Over time he finds it convenient to believe Susan probably is dead. While traveling to the island of Jersey on business, Henchard falls in love with a young woman named Lucette Le Sueur, who nurses him back to health after an illness. The book implies that Lucette (Lucetta, in English) and Henchard have a sexual relationship, and Lucetta’s reputation is ruined by her association with Henchard. When Henchard returns to Casterbridge he leaves Lucetta to face the social consequences of their fling. In order to rejoin polite society she must marry him, but there is a problem: Henchard is already technically married. Although Henchard never told Lucetta exactly how he “lost” his wife to begin with, he does tell her he has a wife who “is dead probably dead, but who may return”. Besotted, Lucetta develops a relationship with him despite the risk. Yet just as Henchard is about to send for Lucetta, Susan unexpectedly appears in Casterbridge with her daughter, Elizabeth-Jane, who is now fully grown. Susan and Elizabeth-Jane are both very poor. Newson appears to have been lost at sea, and without means to earn an income Susan is looking to Henchard again. Susan, who is not a very intelligent or sophisticated woman, believed for a long time that her “marriage” to Newson was perfectly legitimate. Only recently, just before Newson’s disappearance, had Susan begun to question whether or not she was still legally married to Henchard.

Giveaway Rules


There will be 1 winner  

This Giveaway is Open to the USA Only!

Winner will be selected by

Giveaway Ends August 24th 

Comments like these would be deleted – Great contest, please enter me, Love to win this! This is so cute!

Mandatory: Leave a comment about the review below. Leaving a helpful comment relating to this book would be appreciated and valid to the giveaway.

Giveaway Guidelines and Disclaimer  

Winners are selected via Random and notified by email. You have 48 hours to respond;

If no response, the prize is forfeited and an alternate winner is chosen.

This Giveaway Has Ended

Winner #3 – Teresa Young


August 17, 2013 - Posted by | Classic Reading for Kids, Free Giveaways | , , , , ,


  1. I have never read this classic but just by your review I’m very interested. Thank you so much Ella for giving us all the chance to win one of these classic reads. Happy weekend.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

    Comment by carol L | August 17, 2013 | Reply

  2. I am wondering how Henchard managed to become elected Mayor when everybody dislikes him because of his violent temper, selfish behavior. Will Henchard support his wife and adult child or will he runaway to be with the nurse who took care of him while he was ill?

    Comment by nylne | August 17, 2013 | Reply

  3. I enjoy reading novels about Victorian England although usually a female is the main character. I had not heard of this novel but it sounds dark & intriguing.

    Comment by Teresa Young | August 18, 2013 | Reply

  4. I wonder what happened to his wife!

    Comment by Amy | August 18, 2013 | Reply

  5. I did not know that THE MAYOR OF CASTERBRIDGE is considered one of Thomas Hardy’s greatest works. Even though I am a secondary mathematics teacher, I would love to read it and then pass it on to one of our English teachers. They can always use books for their classrooms. If they can’t use it for some reason, then I can donate it to the library where they can always use more books. Thank you for the opportunity to win this classic.

    Comment by ossmcalc | August 19, 2013 | Reply

  6. I have not read this yet and would love to I love books like this one. I have os many questions will he run away with the nurse who took care of him?

    Comment by heather | August 20, 2013 | Reply

  7. I must say this sounds like one very big interesting mess! I haven’t read this but interested

    Comment by Larissa Brunken | August 21, 2013 | Reply

  8. Michael Henchard’s life sounds very exciting. I look forward to finding out how he resolves his problems.

    Comment by Lily Kwan | August 24, 2013 | Reply

    • Congrats! You have 48 hours to email me your mailing address. If no response, the prize is forfeited and an alternate winner is chosen.

      Comment by mymcbooks | August 27, 2013 | Reply

    • prize is forfeited

      Comment by mymcbooks | September 2, 2013 | Reply

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