The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy
Drunk and bitter at the world, the young Michael Henchard sells his wife to a sailor at Weydon Priors fair. The next morning he vows to give up drink and mend his terrible ways. Twenty years later he is mayor of Casterbridge, a rich and important figure who little suspects the past is about to rear up and attack him. The Mayor of Casterbridge is a masterpiece of Victorian literature, bringing the classical forms of tragedy into the modern world with striking force, showing a proud and noble man overwhelmed by his past and the forces of fate.
With an Afterword by Peter Harness.