Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
- Full Title: The Mayor of Casterbridge: The Life and Death of a Man of Character
- When Written: 1885-1886
- Where Written: Dorchester, England
- When Published: 1886
- Literary Period: Victorian, with qualities of Modernism
- Genre: Tragedy, realistic fiction
- Setting: The fictional town of Casterbridge and surrounding countryside, in Western England
- Climax: Richard Newson returns to claim his true daughter, Elizabeth-Jane. Michael Henchard, unable to endure losing his stepdaughter, plans to kill himself, only to have his suicide prevented by the miraculous appearance of an effigy of himself floating in the river.
- Antagonist: Michael Henchard (a protagonist who brings about his own lonely fate)
- Point of View: Third person omniscient
Thomas Hardy, the poet. Thomas Hardy wrote poetry throughout his life, in addition to novels. After his final novel, Jude the Obscure, was severely criticized for what many critics described as its immoral qualities, Hardy vowed to write only poetry for the reminder of his life.
Thomas Hardy’s funeral. Thomas Hardy’s heart is buried in Stinsford, in Western England, whereas his ashes are placed in the Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey, in London.