One of Hardy’s greatest novels, Far from the Madding Crowd tells the story of the life and loves of the brave and the beautiful Bathsheba Everdene.
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NOTE: At the time of this story, British measurements were in miles, yards, feet andinches. 1 inch = 253995 mm, 1 foot = 30.479 cm, 1 yard = 0.9144 m, 1 mile = 1.6093 km. British money was pounds (£), shillings (s) and pence (d). There were 12 pennies (pence) in 1 shilling and 20 shillings (s) in one pound (£).
- county: the United Kingdom of Great Britain is made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Each of these areas is divided into smaller areas called counties.
- arguments : angry discussions between people who do not agree with each other.
- guilty – to feel guilty : Hardy had said unkind things to Emma when she was alive. He felt sorry about this.
- buried – to bury : when a person dies, their body is buried. It is placed in a wooden box – acoffin. The coffin is put into a hole in the ground which is called a grave. Graves are dug in achurchyard – the land around a church.
- country area : the land outside towns, where there are farms, hills, etc., is calledcountryside. The word is often shortened to the country.
- celebrate : when people want to remember a special time or event, they celebrate. They meet together to enjoy themselves. The meeting is called a celebration.
- inns : places where you can buy alcohol, food and pay for a room to sleep in.
- cereal crops : plants which are grown so that their seeds – the grain – can be used as food. Examples of cereal crops are oats, rye and wheat.
- hedges : lines of trees and bushes which grow around the sides of fields. Hedges stop animals from leaving their fields.
- harvested – to harvest : when crops have finished growing and are ready to eat, they are harvested.
- corn exchange : a place where farmers came to buy or sell the corn – the cereal crops – that they had grown.
- hired – to hire : when you pay a person to do some work for you, you are hiring that person. You are that person’s employer.
- good character : a person who is brave, honest and works hard has a good character.A person who is dishonest and does not behave well has a bad character. People with strong characters often speak about their ideas and make decisions quickly.
- wagon : a heavy wooden vehicle with four wheels which was pulled by one or more strong horses. Wagons where used on farms and country roads to carry heavy things. Acarriage was a comfortable vehicle which had four wheels and was pulled by one or two horses.
- loaded – to load : when something is very full it is loaded.
- tollgate : a gate across a road where you have to pay before you can go through it. The money you pay is called a toll.
- flute : a musical instrument that has the shape of a tube. When you play a flute, you hold it sideways to your mouth. You blow air over a hole at one end. At the same time, you move your fingers over holes along the tube.
- giving birth – to give birth : at this time, the sheep are producing lambs – their babies – from their bodies. Before the lambs are born, the sheep are pregnant.
- stove : fire is burned in this container to give heat. Stoves make a room warm, or they cook food.
- beer : a yellow or brown alcoholic drink. Beer is made from grain (see 8) that has been left in water and then dried, and plants called hops.
- sheepdogs : dogs that have been trained to guard and control sheep.
- cowshed : a building on a farm where cows are kept.
- cloak : a long loose coat without sleeves, that fastens around your neck.
- recognized – to recognize : know who a person is and where you have seen them before.
- sidesaddle : sitting on a horse with both your legs on the same side of the horse. At this time, women always rode horses on special saddles in this way. Men rode with one leg on each side of the horse.
- embarrass : make someone feel nervous, afraid, or foolish.
- heart ached : Gabriel Oak loves Bathsheba so much that he feels pain.
- barking – to bark : the sound made by a dog when it is excited.
- best chance : the best thing that he could hope for.
- propose : when a man asks a woman to marry him, he is making a proposal of marriage. He is proposing to the woman.
- independent : an independent person is someone who knows what they want to do and then makes decisions.
- sheep’s bells : bells which were put around the necks of sheep. When the sheep moved, the shepherd could hear where they were.
- chased – to chase : run after something and frighten it.
- deep chalkpit : a large hole in the ground where chalk has been removed.
- ruined – to be ruined : loose all your money or power. Something that is broken or destroyed is ruined. In the nineteenth century, a woman who had a sexual relationship with a man who was not her husband was ruined. People thought that she had a bad character (see 13).
- insured – to insure : if you want to insure something, you have to pay an insurance company an amount of money. Then the insurance company will give you money if your property is lost, stolen, damaged, or destroyed.
- debt : an amount of money that you owe to someone. The bank had given Oak money to buy the sheep. Now he has to repay that debt to the bank.
- farm manager : a person who decides when and how work is done on the farm. Thefarm manager also gives orders to the farm workers.
- regiment : a large group of soldiers who fight together.
- shepherd’s crook : a long pole with a hook on one end. A shepherd’s crook is used to catch or guide sheep.
- hay : dried grass which is given to animals as food.
- shy : be nervous and worried when you meet someone.
- guessed – to guess : if you think that you know what is happening, but you do not know the truth, you are guessing.
- rick of straw : when a cereal crop is harvested, the stalks of the plants are tied together in bundles. When they were dry, the bundles were kept together in a big pile called a rick.Ricks could be made from crops of wheat, barley and oats. The dried, empty stalks of crops whose grain has been removed is called straw.
- farmyard : an area beside a farmhouse that is surrounded by buildings.
- rick-cloth : a large strong cloth that was put over a rick to keep it dry.
- ma’am : the short form of the word madam.
- courting – to court : have a romantic relationship with someone, especially someone that you marry later.
- barracks : buildings where soldiers live.
- expect : think that something will happen.
- notice : if you see someone or something clearly for the first time, you notice them.
The phrase is also used if you suddenly think that someone is interesting or looks nice.
- annoyed : upset and angry about something.
- attractive – to find someone attractive (page 26) think that someone looks beautiful or handsome.
- valentine card : a card that someone sends – on the 14th February – to a person who they love.
- mail-cart : a vehicle which carried people’s letters and parcels between towns and villages.
- man of honour : a man who behaves well and honestly.
- crest : a raised part on the top of a soldier’s metal helmet. Crests held birds’ feathers or long pieces of animals’ hair. Soldiers in some regiments, who rode horses to battles, had helmets in this style.
- spurs : short pieces of metal that someone wears on the heels of their boots while they are riding a horse. When the rider touches the horse with the spurs, the horse will move faster.
- respected – to respect : if someone is respected, people like them and think well of them. You respect someone because they are intelligent, or important. Or you respect them because they are kind and behave well. If you show respect to someone, you are polite because you think that person is clever or important.
- disturbed – to disturb : upset and worry someone.
- sheep-washing pool : each year, farmers wash sheep to remove dirt and insects from the wool on the sheep’s bodies.
- admire : if you like the way that someone looks, works, or behaves, you admire that person. You are that person’s admirer. The feeling that you have is admiration.
- fiercely : showing strong feelings of anger, hate, love, etc.
- opinion – want my opinion : your thoughts about someone or something is your opinion.
When someone wants your opinion, they are asking to hear your thoughts about that thing.
- clover : green plants that have small leaves with three round parts.
- stomachs : when an animal eats, the food moves from its mouth to its stomach.
- swollen : become bigger. The sheep have eaten a plant which makes them ill. Their stomachs are now very large because they are filled with air. This is giving the sheep great pain and they might die.
- desert me : Bathsheba is asking Gabriel not to leave her alone and in trouble.
- riding-habit : a jacket and long skirt that were worn by women when they rode horses in the nineteenth century.
- silk waistcoat : a waistcoat is a piece of clothing, without sleeves, that a man wears over his shirt. Silk is a beautiful, strong, soft cloth.
- scythes : long wooden poles with long sharp metal blades at one end.
- Queen of the Com Exchange : women did not usually own farms and sell the crops. Troy thinks that Bathsheba is like a queen in a place where only men work.
- wasted too much time – to waste time : Bathsheba thinks that she has been speaking with Troy for too long.
- sword practice : soldiers were given instructions which told them how to fight with their swords. A soldier had to practise how to make cuts with a sword onto different parts of an enemy’s body.
- gasped – to gasp : breathe in suddenly because you are shocked or surprised.
- pretend : do something or say something that you do not believe.
- untidy : an untidy person’s hair and clothes are not in their correct places.
- trust : believe that someone is honest, kind and helpful.
If you believe that someone will say or do something which will hurt you, you do not trust them. You distrust that person.
- punish : do something to someone because they have done something wrong.
- blaming – to blame : say or think that someone has made trouble.
- spars : long, thin pieces of wood which were pushed down through the bundles to fix them onto the rick.
- jealousy – crazy with jealousy : if someone has something that you want, or does something that you want to do, you are jealous. Jealousy is this feeling of sadness and anger. Bathsheba thought that she was becoming mad because her feeling of jealousy was so strong.
- gamble : play games for money. Troy watches horses racing against each other. He pays to guess which horse will win the race. If he guesses correctly, he will get more money.
- workhouse : at this time, poor people who had no work, no home and no money had to live in a workhouse. They had to work very hard for food.
- In Qod’s name : strong words that someone uses if they are shocked or surprised.
- gravestone : a large piece of flat stone that carries information about the dead person in a grave.
- mud : very wet, soft earth.
88 in Loving Memory of : words that are written on a gravestone. The phrase shows someone’s love for the person who is buried in the grave.
- travelling circus : a group of people and animals that travel to different places to entertain people.
- highwayman : a man who stole money and property from people who travelled onhighways, or roads. Highwaymen rode fast horses and carried guns.
- tried for murder : Boldwood has killed Troy. He will be taken to a court and asked questions – tried. This is his trial. The judge and jury in the court will then decide if Boldwood meant to kill Troy.