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I'm now writing a summary of The Major Of Casterbridge now.

(1) As the novel opens, Michael Henchard and his wife, Susan were walking toward a village in Wessex with infant daughter, Elizabeth-Jane.

(2) After reaching there, they went into a furmity tent.

(3) Henchard became a drunk then auctioned his wife and daughter to a sailor, Newson by Five-guinea after drinking too much furmity with rum

Many thanks in advance
Comments  
It is 'Mayor', not 'Major'.

(1) As the novel opens, Michael Henchard and his wife Susan are walking toward a village in Wessex with their infant daughter, Elizabeth-Jane.

(2) After reaching there, they go into a furmity tent.

(3) Henchard becomes a drunk, and then he auctions off his wife and daughter to a sailor, Newson, for five guineas after drinking too much furmity with rum.
Thank you very much,

Is it right to change them into past tense like the way below?
If it's right, what is the difference between using simple present tense and simple past tense to describe a story.

(1) As the novel opened, Michael Henchard and his wife Susan were walking toward a village in Wessex with their infant daughter, Elizabeth-Jane.

(2) After reaching there, they went into a furmity tent.

(3) Henchard became a drunk, and then he auctioned off his wife and daughter to a sailor, Newson, for five guineas after drinking too much furmity with rum.

Many thanks in advance
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Yes, but it makes the tale less gripping. I recommend the 'narrative present'.
Henchard didn't become a drunk. He was already a drunk!
On the occasion in question, he became drunk. Emotion: smile

CJ
What is furmity? I mean, I can look up the definition - fruit with rum - but was this like the modern-day equivalent of a hot dog vendor on the city street?
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Grammar Geekwas this like the modern-day equivalent of a hot dog vendor on the city street?
No. It was sold in a furmity tent at a country fair, to judge from Hardy's description of a couple at a fair:

"... they looked around for a refreshment tent ...
... in front appeared the placard, 'Good Furmity Sold Hear' [sic]
... a haggish creature of about fifty presided ...
... She slowly stirred the contents of the pot. The dull scrape of her spoon was audible throughout the tent as she thus kept from burning the mixture of corn in the grain, flour, milk, raisins, currents, and what not, that composed the antiquated slop in which she dealt.
... furmity ... was nourishing ... though, to those not accustomed to it, the grains of wheat, swollen as large as lemon-pips, which floated on its surface, might have a deterrent effect at first."

Sounds like hot oatmeal with raisins, but much less appetizing. Emotion: smile
Note that it was considered "antiquated" already in the late 1800's.

CJ
Oh my. Sounds... uh... yummy.

Thank you for the research. I confess I did not enjoy reading Jude the Obscure and the idea of reading anything else he wrote was not appealing.
Actually, Mayor is pretty good, and I remember liking Return of the Native years ago. Tess is a bit of a downer, though, and very slow-moving. (I don't know Jude.) Emotion: smile

CJ
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