What is the Madding Crowd?

Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy. Search eText, Read Online, Study, Discuss. the following web site gives the source of the Madding Crowd.

 

(1874)


Hardy took the title of this novel from Thomas Gray's poem Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard (1751):

Far From the madding crowd's ignoble strife
Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray;
Along the cool sequester'd vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.


In this case "Madding" means "frenzied". The title may be ironic:
the five main characters -- Bathsheba, Troy, Boldwood, Oak, and Fanny
Robin -- are all passionate beings who find the "vale of life" neither
quiet nor cool. Hardy said that he first introduced Wessex in this
novel. It was successful enough for him to give up architectural work
and pursue a literary career.





Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy. Search eText, Read Online, Study, Discuss.

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