"Far From the Madding Crowd" Why Did Bathsheba Send the Valentine and What Were the Consequences?

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Nadine Harris 4M                                                                                    English                                                                                                                                                                                                    

“Far From the Madding Crowd”

By Thomas Hardy.

Why Did Bathsheba Send the Valentine and What Were the Consequences?

Chapter XIII Sortes Sanctorum: the valentine.

                 Bathsheba is a beautiful young female farmer who gets noticed by everyone (men that is) and loves being the centre of attention.

This is what is happening at the corn-market in Casterbridge.  Bathsheba is not

interested in anyone but enjoys the interest that everyone gives her.  However she is aware that one person isn’t taking any notice of her, yet she feels a slight attraction.  “A very good-looking man, upright about forty,” is how she

describes this mysterious man.  He is Farmer Boldwood, but Bathsheba doesn’t know this.

When Boldwood comes to the door Bathsheba is already curious. She doesn’t even know him, nor has she ever met him but she is already questioning who he is and thinking of the possibility of marriage to him.  The following is a quotation taken from the book when Boldwood comes to Bathsheba’s door and her maid answers it.  

“Who is Mr. Boldwood?” said Bathsheba.

“A gentleman – farmer at Upper Weatherbury.”


“No, Miss.”

“How old is he?”

“Forty I should say – very handsome – rather stern looking.”

“What a bother this dusting is! I am always in some unfortunate plight or other,” Bathsheba said complainingly…

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This shows that Bathsheba almost has an imaginary checklist in her mind ticking off all the positive things; Boldwood is a gentleman, which means he is rich, he is middle aged, and handsome.  This makes her annoyed, as she was unavailable to answer the door when he knocked. He is also kind as he looked after a child called Fanny.  She also finds out that many girls have tried to court him but none have been successful, so she tries to court him as an achievement and likes the idea of a challenge.  

 Bathsheba doesn’t like the idea ...

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