As I mentioned a few days ago, I’m reading Far From The Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy and I’m a few chapters away from finishing it.
Yes it’s a romance set in 19th Century English countryside. If you like books by Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters, then you’ll probably enjoy this one.
I read my first Thomas Hardy last year and he totally floors me with his writing and language.
Here’s one of my guilty, dorky secrets haha: I like to read with a pencil nearby, so I can circle sentences and paragraphs that make my eyes pop and my brain explode. Then I fold over the corner of the page, so in the future I can pick up the novel and quickly re-read my favourite parts of the book.
Anyway, since I share stories, photos, food and clothes that inspires me, I feel that I have to share my favourite snippets from this book!
1) Context: Gabriel and Bathsheba [the novel’s heroine] met along the path and Gabriel couldn’t take his eyes off her.
“Rays of male vision seem to have a tickling effect upon virgin faces in rural districts: she hastily brushed hers with her hand, as if Gabriel had been irritating its pink surface with a long straw, and the free air of her previous movements was reduced at the same time to a chastened phase of itself. Yet it was the man who blushed, the maid not at all.”
2) “The rain stretched obliquely through the drab atmosphere in liquid spines, unbroken in continuity between their beginnings in the clouds and their points on him.”
3) “Bathsheba loved Troy in the way that only self-reliant women love when they abandon their self-reliance. When a strong woman recklessly throws away her strength she is worse than a weak woman who has never any strength to throw away. One source of her inadequacy is the novelty of the occasion. She has never had practice in making the best of such a condition. Weakness is doubly weak by being new.”
4) “To persons standing alone on a hill during a clear midnight such as this, the roll of the world eastward is almost a palpable movement. The sensation may be caused by the panoramic glide of the stars past earthly objects, which is perceptible in a few minutes of stillness, or by the better outlook upon space that a hill affords, or by the wind, or by the solitude; but whatever be its origin the impression of riding along is vivid and abiding. The poetry of motion is a phrase much in use, and to enjoy the epic form of that gratification it is necessary to stand on a hill at a small hour of the night, and, having first expanded with a sense of difference from the mass of civilized mankind, who are dreamwrapt and disregardful of all such proceedings at this time, long and quietly watch your stately progress through the stars. After such a nocturnal reconnoitre it is hard to get back to earth, and to believe that the consciousness of such majestic speeding is derived from a tiny human frame.”
5) “He had been held to her by a beautiful thread which it pained him to spoil by breaking, rather than by a chain he could not break.”
Ah sorry, I could go on. But I’d better not. It’s a lovely book to read.
And I can’t wait to read some of his poetry!
If you’re interested, you can take a peek at my Goodreads Reading list here if you like.