New York: Henry Holt & Co., Publishers, 1874. 1st US edition, 1st issue [with front advert dated November 17th, 1874]. Cf Purdy, p. 17. iv, 474 pp. 12mo. 6-3/4" x 4-1/2". Original publishers linen cloth binding with black printed lettering/graphics, including signature cobweb in lower right corner of the front board. Red advert eps. Wear & soiling to cloth, backstrip darkened. Volume cocked. 1" of biopredation to lower portion of rear joint. A Good copy of an edition not often found in the trade [at the time of cataloguing, we see no other 1st issue copies on offer]. Item #50387
"Far from the Madding Crowd is Hardy's 4th novel and his first major literary success. It originally appeared anonymously as a monthly serial in Cornhill Magazine, where it gained a wide readership.
The novel is set in Hardy's Wessex in rural southwest England, as had been his earlier Under the Greenwood Tree. It deals in themes of love, honour and betrayal, against a backdrop of the seemingly idyllic, but often harsh, realities of a farming community in Victorian England. It describes the life and relationships of Bathsheba Everdene with her lonely neighbour William Boldwood, the faithful shepherd Gabriel Oak, and the thriftless soldier Sergeant Troy.
On publication, critical notices were plentiful and mostly positive. ... The novel has an enduring legacy. In 2003, the novel was listed at number 48 on the BBC's survey The Big Read, while in 2007, it was ranked 10th on The Guardian's list of greatest love stories of all time." [Wiki].