The Shirley of the title is a woman of independent means; her friend Caroline is not. Both struggle with what a woman's role is and can be. Their male counterparts - Louis, the powerless tutor, and Robert, his cloth-manufacturing brother - also stand at odds to society's expectations. The novel is set in a period of social and political ferment, featuring class disenfranchisement, the drama of Luddite machine-breaking, and the divisive effects of the Napoleonic Wars.
"Far from the Madding Crowd" is perhaps the most pastoral of Hardy's Wessex novels. It tells the story of the young farmer Gabriel Oak and his love for and pursuit of the elusive Bathsheba Everdene, whose wayward nature leads her to both tragedy and true love. It tells of the dashing Sergeant Troy whose rakish philosophy of life was ‘…the past was yesterday; never, the day after’, and lastly, of the introverted and reclusive gentleman farmer, Mr Boldwood, whose love fills him with ‘…a fearful sense of exposure’, when he first sets eyes on Bathsheba. The background of this tale is the Wessex countryside in all its moods, contriving to make it one of the most English of great English novels.
With an Introduction by Dr. Julian Wolfreys. This EDITION CONTAINS TWO COLLECTIONS of short stories, the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes documents the earliest cases of the greatest fictional detective of all time, while The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes brings us to what Doyle intended to be Holmes' last appearance, in The Adventure of the Final Problem, as he plunges into the depths of the Reichenbach Falls with his archenemy, Professor Moriarty. This edition contains the original illustrations from Strand Magazine drawn by Sidney Paget.