The Mayor of Casterbridge
Thomas Hardy
Contributed by Bobbie Heil
Chapter 18

Susan Henchard is ill, but after the finest doctors are brought in, she recovers. Michael Henchard awakes one morning to find a letter from his woman in Jersey, saying that she understands his decision but requesting her letters back from him to hide any evidence of her excessive feelings towards him. The woman, Lucetta, will be passing through Casterbridge soon and plans to meet up with Henchard at that time. On that night, she does not arrive and Henchard concludes that something must have modified her arrangements and since he does not wish to see her, he is relieved.

However, Susan continues to grow ill, and one night, she writes a letter that she seals and directs to be unopened until Elizabeth-Jane’s wedding day. Moreover, she confesses to her daughter that she was the one who arranged the meeting between her and Farfrae at Durnover Hill since she wishes for them to be wed. A few days later, Susan dies. The townspeople discuss the details of her death the next morning.

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