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The Return of the Native (Modern Library…
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The Return of the Native (Modern Library Classics) (original 1878; edition 2001)

by Thomas Hardy, Alexander Theroux (Introduction)

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5,61062763 (3.94)334
Member:Yells
Title:The Return of the Native (Modern Library Classics)
Authors:Thomas Hardy
Other authors:Alexander Theroux (Introduction)
Info:Modern Library (2001), Edition: Modern Library, Paperback, 448 pages
Collections:Your library
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Tags:TBR 2012 & PRIOR

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The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy (1878)

  1. 20
    Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy (Porua)
    Porua: I would like to recommend another Thomas Hardy novel, Far from the Madding Crowd. When I first read The Return of the Native it kind of surprised me to see how very similar it is to Far from the Madding Crowd. They are very similar in their story lines, characterization and narrative style.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 62 (next | show all)
I enjoyed this one tremendously, but I suspect that without Alan Rickman's beautiful reading it would have been a four star, rather than a five star book for me. I found the story very satisfying (though I could have done with rather less about the colors, moisture levels, and textures of Egdon Heath, even if it is, as both Wikipedia and a friend of mine have suggested, the main character, which I'm still not convinced of, btw), and am very pleased with Hardy for being willing to modify his usual doom and gloom ending as a concession to sentimental public taste! Eustacia Vye, superbly loathsome creature that she is, is a memorable character. ( )
  meandmybooks | Jul 9, 2016 |
There are things I loved about this book and things I strongly disliked. The good things: the description of the heath, which elevated it from simply the setting to character-like status; the character of Eustacia Vye; the serious issues portrayed such as love, loyalty, infidelity.

The not-so-good: some of the characters (Clym, Damon) were largely archetypes; Diggery is more of a vehicle to make things happen than a solidly-drawn person; the soap-opera nature of the plot and much of the dialogue.

Hardy is a good enough writer that I still liked the book overall and am glad I read it. ( )
  LynnB | Jun 7, 2016 |
I did it! I persevered and finished off this book just 20 minutes before it was due to vanish from my Kobo in a virtual puff of smoke. After that slow start that had me despairing that anything was ever going to happen, things did pick up and the plot moved along fairly briskly. As the rating says, I'm glad I read it, and I would read more Hardy. In the future, though, I'll be more judicious about how many of those copious footnotes to chase down, as I found more often than not that rather than adding to my understanding of the book they simply impeded the flow of the narrative and made it seem more choppy and uneven than it probably is in actuality. Too many of them were about minute differences between the manuscript version used here (the 1878 serial publication) and later editions, which would have been immensely helpful if I were studying it and looking to make comparisons. As just a regular old reader, however, I found I didn't really give a dingdangdoodle.

And I still maintain that I read more than enough about that damned heath in the opening chapters to last me a lifetime. Good grief, no wonder everyone in this book is so freaking depressed. They must have had to listen to Hardy describe their homeland one too many times down the pub. ( )
  rosalita | May 12, 2016 |
I could hardly breathe while reading this novel. Written in 1878, this book is filled with drama and angst. I felt as though I were on a roller coaster, up one minute, down the next and at the end of the day, a happy ending! ( )
  Oodles | Feb 16, 2016 |
This novel is a poem to the ancient beauty of the heath. Hardy's descriptions of the way the light falls across it at different hours, the colours that emerge from it, and its ancient invariability and unwillingness to be tamed are beautiful. The characters who live, work, idle and scheme on the heath are among the best, in my opinion, that Hardy created. Eustacia Vye is a wonderful creation, spirited, intelligent, manipulative and yearning for something to lift her from the doldrums in which she perceives herself to be languishing. Clym Yeobright is an idealistic, naïve young man who turns from his life of wealth to seek a sense of usefulness back among his native people. Damon Wildeve is a scurrilous rake in the mould of Pride & Prejudice's Wickham. There is an element of caricature about them, but Hardy is too skilled a writer to bring forth pure exaggerations of human characteristics. Alongside the main personality traits writ large, Hardy includes subtle contradictions, light and shade, that make them seem modern at the same time as being romantic constructs. Hardy is good at acknowledging the restrictions of female existence in his era while at the same time recognising that women are more than society will permit them to be. It is the women in his books that compel. Given that there isn't a single Thomas Hardy novel that is 100% cheerful, it would be too much to expect things to work out well for these three. But the tragedy that befalls them is tempered by a satisfactory joy for the two other, quieter, central characters, Thomasin Yeobright and Diggory Venn. ( )
  missizicks | Jan 21, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Thomas Hardyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dillon, DianeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dillon, LeoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lynd, SylviaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Taylor, WarnerIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Theroux, AlexanderIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Winterich, John T.Prefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woodcock, GeorgeIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"To sorrow
I bade good morrow,
And thought to leave her far away behind;
But cheerly, cheerly,
She loves me dearly;
She is so constant to me, and so kind.
I would deceive her,
And so leave her,
But ah! she is so constant and so kind."
Dedication
First words
A Saturday afternoon in November was approaching the time of twilight, and the vast tract of unenclosed wild known as Egdon Heath embrowned itself moment by moment.
Quotations
Human beings, in their generous endeavour to construct a hypothesis that shall not degrade a First Cause, have always hesitated to conceive a dominant power of lower moral quality than their own; and, even while they sit down and weep by the waters of Babylon, invent excuses for the oppression which prompts their tears.
As for Thomasin, I never expected much from her; and she has not disappointed me.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
The Return of the Native was first published in Belgravia magazine in 12 parts in 1878 and revised by Hardy in 1895 and 1912, when he produced a definitive Wessex Edition of all of his novels.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 037575718X, Paperback)

One of Thomas Hardy's most powerful works, The Return of the Native centers famously on Egdon Heath, the wild, haunted Wessex moor that D. H. Lawrence called "the real stuff of tragedy." The heath's changing face mirrors the fortunes of the farmers, inn-keepers, sons, mothers, and lovers who populate the novel. The "native" is Clym Yeobright, who comes home from a cosmopolitan life in Paris. He; his cousin Thomasin; her fiancé, Damon Wildeve; and the willful Eustacia Vye are the protagonists in a tale of doomed love, passion, alienation, and melancholy as Hardy brilliantly explores that theme so familiar throughout his fiction: the diabolical role of chance in determining the course of a life.

As Alexander Theroux asserts in his Introduction, Hardy was "committed to the deep expression of [nature's] ironic chaos and strange apathy, even hostility, toward man."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:05 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

An enduring tale of love, desire, and the universal longing both to leave one's home and to return to it, this novel is one of Hardy's greatest and most affecting works. Hardy's passionately drawn characters and his vivid rendering of their valiant but ultimately ineffective struggle in destiny's web result in a masterpiece of melancholy brilliance.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 20 descriptions

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2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140435182, 0141199741

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