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CAIRO BOOKS's Description
The Mayor of Casterbridge opens with an act of such heartlessness and cruelty
that it still shocks today. Michael Henchard, an out-of-work hay-trusser, gets
drunk at a fair and for five guineas sells his wife and child to a sailor. When
the horror of his act finally sets in, Henchard swears he will not touch
alcohol for twenty-one years. Through hard work and acumen, he becomes rich,
respected, and eventually the mayor of Casterbridge. But eighteen years after
his fateful oath, his wife and daughter, Elizabeth-Jane, return to
Casterbridge, and his fortunes steadily decline.