Book Description: Thomas Hardy's fascination with the dualities inherent in human nature is at the root of The Mayor of Casterbridge, now in a brand-new edition. In a drunken fit Michael Henchard sells his wife and infant daughter to a sailor at a country fair; when sobriety returns the following day, he is unable to find and reclaim his family. Vowing to transform his life, he settles in the town of Casterbridge, where he eventually rises to the position of mayor. Henchard is a man whose impulses are at war with one another, and when his wife and daughter, now a young woman, appear in Casterbridge, these internal contradictions drive him to commit acts that spell his final destruction. Employing the elements of classic tragedy Hardy took the English novel in a new direction, emerging as both the last Victorian novelist and the first modern one, and defines themes that would occupy such twentieth-century writers as Conrad and Lawrence.