'The woman is no good to me. Who'll have her?'
Michael Henchard is an out-of-work hay-trusser who gets drunk at a local fair and impulsively sells his wife Susan and baby daughter. Eighteen years later Susan and her daughter seek him out, only to discover that he has become the most prominent man in Casterbridge. Henchard attempts to make amends for his youthful misdeeds but his unchanged impulsiveness clouds his relationships in love as well as his fortunes in business. Although Henchard is fated to be a modern-day tragic hero, unable to
survive in the new commercial world, his story is also a journey towards love.
This edition is the only critically established text of the novel, based on a comprehensive study of the manuscript and Hardy's extensive revisions.
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Pamela Dalziel is the General Editor of the Clarendon Dickens Edition. She has published numerous articles on Hardy and edited Hardy's An Indiscretion in the Life of an Heiress and Other Stories (OWC, 1994) and A Pair of Blue Eyes (Penguin, 1998).