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The Return of the Native (Modern Library…

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

by Thomas Hardy, Alexander Theroux (Introduction)

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5,37455812 (3.94)275
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
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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"Oh, how hard it is of Heaven to devise such tortures for me!",, 29 November 2015

This review is from: Thomas Hardy: The Return of the Native (Paperback)
Set on the great, bleak expanse of Egdon Heath, this is a gothic tale of love, despair and misunderstandings.
Centred on the imperious Eustacia Vye, resentful at having to live in this god-forsaken place, we see her at first carrying on a clandestine romance with the affianced Damon Wildeve. And then into the picture comes the returned native, Clym Yeobright, cousin of Damon's fiancee. He has been carving out a successful career in Paris, and would seem an ideal match for the beautiful Eustacia who yearns to travel...
Forming something of a 'Greek chorus' are the local people, with their amusing conversations, folk customs and superstitions. And the omnipresent 'reddleman', Diggory Venn; a seller of sheep dye, and former (unsuccessful) suitor to Thomasin Yeobright, he seems to be always prowling about the heath looking out for his loved one.
At times a little over the top in emotion, this comes to an extremely good and touching ending. ( )
  starbox | Nov 28, 2015 |
Good, but not amazing. I almost couldn't believe the number of misunderstandings and accidents in this novel, to the point that I found it nearly implausible. From the problems with a marriage license at the beginning to Clym losing eyesight due to reading too much by candlelight (I'd be blind by now if this was even remotely possible) to the whole sequence of unanswered knocks on doors and letters not received. I guess I'm just not a Thomas Hardy fan. ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | Nov 26, 2015 |
For Christmas, I ordered an mp3 player (Library of Classics) that was pre-loaded with 100 works of classic literature in an audio format. Each work is in the public domain and is read by amateurs, so the quality of the presentation is hit or miss.

The Return of the Native is a novel written by Thomas Hardy that has as its locale 19th century rural England. The story line of the novel revolves around the romantic attachments of several inhabitants of Egdon Heath, essentially a love pentagon (as opposed to the classic love triangle). There is Diggory Venn, the reddelman, who loves Thomasin. Wildeve, who marries Thomasin, but loves Eustacia, who marries Clym Yeobright, Thomasin’s cousin. You get the picture.

The story is a little slow to get started, as Hardy never uses a dozen words when a hundred can be strung together. His prose is overly descriptive and verbose. Finally, we are introduced to all of the major characters and a period of enjoyment commences as the makings of a fine tale emerge. Alas, the story grinds to a halt as long periods of inaction and repetitious behavior develop. I’m sure the style is not unusual for the period, though I’ve read a lot of Dickens and found his writing to be far livelier.

In listening to the audiobook, I would have sworn that the book had to contain 800 pages, but the Amazon profile reports only half that. Perhaps it only seemed like 800 pages, given the long periods of sleep inducing inaction and florid prose. In any event, it was not terrible, just not exactly to my liking. ( )
  santhony | Jul 15, 2015 |
This novel haunts me with its characters and settings. Excellent in every way. ( )
  JVioland | Jul 14, 2014 |
This was my second book by Hardy. Like the first one I read, this is a book about moral dilemmas & the power of misperceptions. Eustacia & Thomasin are tragic heroines who suffer the consequences of rumor & reputation is small town 1800's England. Clym, the one is is the returning native of the title, is a man who fortune treated well in the beginning, but struck down at the end. Wildeve is the romantic hero who is the cause of much of the 2 ladies' problems....

It's sad most of the way, with a few clever places throughout, like Eustacia's attempt at disguising herself as a man in the mummer's play so that she could meet Clym to begin with. That evening's work she didn't quite think all the way through, & finds herself in a rather touchy situation :)

All in all, I was ok with how the book ended, although the afterword gives us an idea of how the original ending went vice the one that the book gives.... ( )
  Lisa.Johnson.James | Apr 11, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Thomas Hardyprimary authorall 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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"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."
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.
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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13 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140435182, 0141199741

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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