Bathsheba Everdene, living in the quiet rural village of Weatherbury, is indeed disrupted by the 'madding crowd'. After shunning the first man to love her, the shepherd Gabriel Oak, she is courted by two others: the lonely and repressed farmer Boldwood, and the charming but faithless Sergeant Troy.
-- THE FLOCK -- AN INTERIOR -- ANOTHER INTERIOR
IT was nearly midnight on the eve of St. Thomas's, the shortest day in the year. A desolating wind wandered from the north over the hill whereon Oak had watched the yellow waggon and its occupant in the sunshine of a few days earlier.
Norcombe Hill -- not far from lonely Toller-Down -- was one of the spots which suggest to a passer-by that he is in the presence of a shape approaching the indestructible as nearly as any to be found on earth. It was a featureless convexity of chalk and soil -- an ordinary specimen of those smoothly- outlined protuberances of the globe which may remain undisturbed on some great day of confusion, when far grander heights and dizzy granite precipices topple down.
The hill was covered on its northern side by an ancient and decaying plantation of beeches, whose upper verge formed a line over the crest, fringing its arched curve against the sky, like a mane. To-night these trees sheltered the southern slope from the keenest
Thomas Hardy is my favourite writer besides Charles Dickens.I have read so many of his books and this one is equally good.Its excellently written,wrapped in english romanticism & one of Hardy's most popular.
I also recommend readers read THe Mayor of Casterbridge &Tess of D'Urbervilles.
Masterful Britsh literature, it goes without saying.I am not surprised R.L.Stevenson said"I would give my hand to write like Hardy."