Thomas Hardy OM was an English novelist and poet. A Victorian realist in the tradition of George Eliot, he was influenced both in his novels and in his poetry by Romanticism, including the poetry of William Wordsworth.
THE RETURN OF THE NATIVE
‘To be loved to madness – such was her great desire’
Eustacia Vye criss-crosses the wild Egdon Heath, eager to experience life to the full in her quest for ‘music, poetry, passion, war’. She marries Clym Yeobright, native of the heath, but his idealism frustrates her romantic ambitions and her discontent draws others into a tangled web of deceit and unhappiness.
Early readers responded to Hardy’s ‘insatiably observant’ descriptions of the heath, a setting that for D. H. Lawrence provided the ‘real stuff of tragedy’. For modern readers, the tension between the mythic setting of the heath and the modernity of the characters challenges our freedom to shape the world as we wish; like Eustacia, we may not always be able to live our dreams.
This edition has a critically established text based on the manuscript and first edition.
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Publisher: OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS
Author: THOMAS HARDY