Return of the Native

Return of the Native

eBook - 2013
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Thomas Hardy (2nd June 1840 - 11th January 1928), celebrated poet and writer, was born in a modest thatched cottage near Dorchester in the West country, to a builder father. His mother came from a line of intelligent, lively and ambitious women so ensured her son had the best formal education available for their modest means although this ended when he was 16. He became a draughtsman specialising in the building of churches was able to give it up to be a full time writer and poet with the publication of Far From the Madding Crown which became a bestseller and like much of his work was serialised. His writing reflects his passionate beliefs for social reform and exposes the hypocrisy of the rules of the Victorian age which constrained many freedoms with convention and restricted the transcending of class boundaries. His novels are almost entirely set in rural Wessex which although fictional is clearly rooted in the SW counties of England where he was born and lived most of his life. Hardy's writing caused controversy in his lifetime but despite this he was highly praised and showered with honorary doctorates from many universities, a knighthood, which he refused and in 1910 the prestigious Order of the Merit. Return of the Native opens with an evocative description of the bleak brooding Egdon Heath which is not only the setting for the book but also anticipates the dark tone of the novel. The native in the title is Clym Yeobright who is returning to the place where he grew up to settle and be a positive part of the community which was missing from his life in Paris. He falls in love with the tempestuous Eustacia Vye who dreams of passionate love and is dazzled by the idea of a life in Paris which would liberate her from the stifling claustrophobia she feels in Egdon. Marriage accentuates her restlessness and resolve to escape causing frustration, disappointment, betrayal and tragedy. Hardy provides a poetic compassion for both characters and creates powerful scenes heightening the dramatic tension and making this a special read.
Publisher: [United States] : A Word To The Wise : Made available through hoopla, 2013
ISBN: 9781780009780
178000978X
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: hoopla digital

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s
stewstealth
Nov 23, 2016

An eloquent writer narrating a contrived plot with standard 19th century themes of class, love and duty. Quite melodramatic and an old fashioned style. Read it if you are interested.

w
wyenotgo
Aug 21, 2015

"The plot of 'The Return of the Native' is much like a diminuitive marionette; it carries a tragedy altogether too grand in scale for its own dimensions; but its power in the book comes from the hand that pulls th strings -- the omnipotent hand of Fate."
That was the opening line of an esay that I wrote many years ago in high school after reading the book. And despite all that I have read and learned and experienced since, I can hardly think of a better way to summarize Hardy's great work, now that I've read through it again, my opinion hasn't changed. A great novel in any age.

1
1aa
Jul 07, 2015

Extensive notes and glossary of colloquialisms help the reader comprehend certain passages.
There were too many fortuitous plot twists (e.g., the relatives who all died leaving an 11000 pound fortune) that strained the credulity of the reader.
Thematically though, a great book.

c
Chapel_Hill_KenMc
Dec 22, 2014

This is a bit of a muddle, fueled by over-the-top Victorian melodrama that hasn't aged well. Infidelity and constancy play out their themes on a bleak English moor. The most rewarding aspect of the novel is the evocative setting, haunting and dismal.

mayfairlady Jan 31, 2011

one of my favourites.... Hardy does not disappoint

s
shadowcat1234
Nov 05, 2010

A writer like no other.I recommend a large number of books under your belt before you read Hardy. But to read Hardy is a must for serious readers.

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