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Hardy's first major literary success, here brought to life by narrator Nathaniel Parker, is the story of the independent and spirited Bathsheba Everdene, who inherits her uncle's farm, the largest estate in the area. She surprises the villagers of Weatherbury by deciding to run it herself rather than hire a manager. Attracted to this bold young woman are three very different suitors all vying for her affections. They include the lonely gentleman-farmer Boldwood, the young and handsome but inconsiderate Sergeant Troy and the faithful shepherd Gabriel Oak. Serving to unsettle and complicate her life, the three contrasting men show the many facets of love. But Bathsheba's indecision and inability to commit leads to some disastrous consequences.
The first of Hardy's works set in Wessex (south-west England), Far from the Madding Crowd presents evocative descriptions of rural life and landscapes.
Thomas Hardy was an English writer and poet in the Romantic era who was greatly influenced by Charles Dickens and William Wordsworth.
Screen and stage actor Nathaniel Parker, trained with LAMDA before becoming a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. On stage, he has co-starred alongside actors such as Dustin Hoffman and Dame Helen Mirren. In 2014 he played King Henry VIII in Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies for the Royal Shakespeare Company. This earned him an Olivier Award for the London production and a Tony Award nomination when the show moved on to Broadway.
On screen, Nathaniel Parker is widely known for starring in period dramas but is best known for playing Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley (2001-2007). Most recently he has appeared in the TV series Of Kings and Prophets (2016), and The Outcast (2015). Over the years he has lent his voice to a large number of classic and contemporary audiobooks including John Wyndham’s The Midwich Cuckoos in 2016.