The Mayor of Casterbridge

Thomas Hardy

At a country fair near Casterbridge, Wessex, a young hay-trusser named Michael Henchard overindulges in rum-laced furmity and quarrels with his wife, Susan. He decides to auction off his wife and baby daughter, Elizabeth-Jane, to a sailor, Mr. Newson, for five guineas. Once sober the next day, he is too late to recover his family. When he realises that his wife and daughter are gone, probably for good, he swears not to touch liquor again for as many years as he has lived so far (21).

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