Great opening paragraph 55… ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’ #amwriting #FirstPara

Thomas Hardy“When Farmer Oak smiled, the corners of his mouth spread till they were within an unimportant distance of his ears, his eyes were reduced to chinks, and diverging wrinkles appeared round them, extending upon his countenance like the rays in a rudimentary sketch of the rising sun.”
‘Far from the Madding Crowd’ by Thomas Hardy

Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:-
‘Lord Jim’ by Joseph Conrad
‘Notes on a Scandal’ by Zoe Heller
‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’ by Mark Twain

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
A great 1st para: FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD by Thomas Hardy #books via @SandraDanby


  1. This is a great reminder to add this novel to my to-read list. I’ve read Tess of the d’Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure, but never got around to reading this one.

  2. I once spent 6 weeks in Dorchester in a Thomas Hardy grad class. It was pretty amazing and we opened with FFTMC. I agree with the opening. Great description. 🙂

    • Please do. His novels are so rooted in Wessex, a part of England he named himself but is really a combination of the counties of Hampshire and Wiltshire. Very wild, brutal country. SD