WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY LUCY HUGHES-HALLETT
The Mayor of Casterbridge is a man haunted by his past. In his youth he betrayed his wife and baby daughter in a shocking incident that led him to swear never to touch alcohol again for twenty-one years. He has since risen from his humble origins to become a respected pillar of the community in Casterbridge, but his secrets cannot stay hidden forever and he has many hard lessons left to learn.
Thomas Hardy was born on 2 June 1840. His father was a stonemason. He was brought up near Dorchester and trained as an architect. In 1868 his work took him to St Juliot's church in Cornwall where he met his wife-to-be, Emma. His first novel, The Poor Man and the Lady, was rejected by publishers but Desperate Remedies was published in 1871 and this was rapidly followed by Under the Greenwood Tree (1872), A Pair of Blue Eyes (1873) and Far from the Madding Crowd (1874). He also wrote many other novels, poems and short stories. Tess of the D'Urbervilles was published in 1891. His final novel was Jude the Obscure (1895). Hardy was awarded the Order of Merit in 1920 and the gold medal of the Royal Society of Literature in 1912. His wife died in 1912 and he later married his secretary. Thomas Hardy died 11 January 1928.