By Thomas Hardy
eNotated by Howard Barbour
Though most ebooks are simple conversions of paper books, “The eNotated Far from the Madding Crowd" is a completely new approach that takes advantage of the potential ebook technology offers to extend and enrich Thomas Hardy’s writing in a way that’s convenient to use while still unobtrusive to the reader.
First published by Hardy in 1874, this edition of "Madding Crowd" includes a Hardy biography, a chronology of his life, a timeline of major events, 63 illustrations, and eNotations that extend Hardy’s writing by providing a new layer of information behind the text the reader can access before, during, and after each chapter.
For instance, in Chapter 2, when Hardy mentions a shepherd's hut, Barbour’s eNotation tells us “These huts were mounted on wheels and drawn from pasture to pasture in order that the shepherd might stay close to his flock. They were used particularly at lambing time, but some shepherds stayed with the flock year round” and he adds an illustration of a shepherd's hut.
Hardy’s “Far from the Madding Crowd” is perhaps Hardy’s positive Wessex novel - a story of how a single woman struggles to maintain her independence in a patriarcal world - but it is filled with 19th century agricultural terms, geographical and literary references, and Wessex idioms that may be lost to the modern reader. Howard Barbour, born not far from Hardy’s Wessex, grew up listening to stories of late 19th century rural life told by a disappearing generation, and then as a young man worked in and studied agriculture just as the last vestiges of age-old practices were being swept away by the new. In this eNotated edition of “Far from the Madding Crowd” Barbour provides the background and explanations readers need to thoroughly understand, appreciate, and enjoy Hardy’s classic by adding hundreds of electronic annotations linked to words and phrases in Hardy’s original text.
If you are going to read “Madding Crowd” for the first time - or return to this wonderful story after some years - you will best enjoy and most throughly understand “Madding Crowd” with this unique eNotated edition.