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Chapters 42 and 43

Chapter 42

Yet, the thought of Newson still haunts Henchard even though he does not return. Farfrae, meanwhile, grieves over his wife, but he does not seek revenge on the culprits lest he expose the past deeds of his wife further. Henchard accepts the seed money offered by the Town Council to start a small business again. He continues to try to rationalize his lie to Newson, saying that he could not love her as much as he does and that he has not seen her for years whereas her loss to Henchard would be devastating.
His attentions to Elizabeth-Jane reveal much about her. He makes cautious comments about her purchases, although he is a bit startled when he thinks she is spending too much, especially on books. The seed trade is over for the season, and he is worried about her purchases. Her reasons for having so many books is quickly explained, when Henchard spies Farfrae looking at Elizabeth-Jane. His suspicions are confirmed when he overhears them talking one day on one of her customary walks. Farfrae has been purchasing the books for Elizabeth-Jane and intentionally meeting her on her walks. Henchard is disappointed that Farfrae has his eyes on taking Elizabeth-Jane from him, but he does not stand in the way. He has a passing thought of revealing Elizabeth-Jane's past to him, but he curses himself for thinking of such evil.

Chapter 43

The town does not entirely approve of the mayor's courtship with Elizabeth-Jane, deeming her too inferior for his position, but several believe that it is Farfrae who is lucky to have Elizabeth-Jane. In truth, the town really pays the matter little mind, with only the young ladies whom Elizabeth-Jane bids out for Farfrae's attentions following the relationship's development. Henchard tries to imagine his life with Elizabeth-Jane, after she is married to Farfrae, but he is unsatisfied with any conjecture.
One day, Henchard nears the location where Elizabeth-Jane usually walks, and he is startled to see the image of Newson, waiting in the road. Henchard is sure that Elizabeth-Jane will come by and quickly learn of the deception and hate him, but she does not show up. When Henchard arrives home, Elizabeth-Jane tells him that she does not take her usual walk because she has received a note saying that someone wants to meet her there. There is another appointment at Farfrae's house that evening, but Elizabeth-Jane asks Henchard if she should go. Henchard sighs but assents, knowing that his scheme will soon be undone.
Rather than hear her condemnation once she meets again with Newson, he tells Elizabeth-Jane that he is leaving Casterbridge. Elizabeth-Jane is saddened by the news, but Henchard tells her to remember his love for her. Then he packs lightly and leaves town. Only Elizabeth-Jane is there to witness his exit from the town where he rises and falls.
That night, Elizabeth-Jane goes to Farfrae's to meet the surprise visitor, and she is shocked and delighted to see her long lost father Newson. Farfrae has arranged the meeting, and the reunion is heartfelt. They discuss their wedding plans, with Newson happily taking a role in the preparations. Before Newson leaves, he mentions Henchard's deception, which outrages Elizabeth-Jane. Newson tries to accept blame for being so gullible, but Elizabeth-Jane is saddened and angered that Henchard could have denied her access to her own father.

Browse all book notes

Historical Context
Main Characters
Points to Ponder
Did You Know
Plot Summary
Chapters 1 and 2
Chapters 3 and 4
Chapters 5 and 6
Chapters 7 and 8
Chapters 9 and 10
Chapters 11, 12, and 13
Chapters 14 and 15
Chapter 16
Chapters 17 and 18
Chapters 19 and 20
Chapters 21 and 22
Chapters 23 and 24
Chapters 25 and 26
Chapter 27
Chapters 28 and 29
Chapters 30 and 31
Chapters 32 and 33
Chapter 34
Chapters 35 and 36
Chapter 37
Chapter 38
Chapter 39
Chapters 40 and 41
Chapters 42 and 43
Chapter 44
Chapter 45


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