The Mayor of Casterbridge (Modern Library Classics)

The Mayor of Casterbridge Study Guide

by Thomas Hardy

The Mayor of Casterbridge study guide contains a biography of Thomas Hardy, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

The novel opens on a dirt road near the village of Weydon-Priors, in the English county of Wessex. Michael Henchard, a hay-trusser, is traveling with his wife, Susan, and young daughter, Elizabeth-Jane. However, a passing farmer tells the Henchards that there is no chance of finding employment or housing in the village. Discouraged, Michael takes his family to a furmity seller's tent in Weydon-Priors. The furmity seller adds liquor to Michael's meal, and after several servings Michael becomes an angry drunk. Because he believes his marriage at a young age ruined all his chances for success, he offers to sell his wife and daughter to the highest bidder. After several unanswered calls for bids, Susan says that someone should buy her, since…

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