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The Return of the Native

By Thomas Hardy
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Book Description

'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, and without the later changes that substantially altered Hardy's original intentions. About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

Table of Contents
  • THE RETURN OF THE NATIVE
  • PREFACE
  • BOOK ONE — THE THREE WOMEN
  • 1—A Face on Which Time Makes but Little Impression
  • 2—Humanity Appears upon the Scene, Hand in Hand with Trouble
  • 3—The Custom of the Country
  • 4—The Halt on the Turnpike Road
  • 5—Perplexity among Honest People
  • 6—The Figure against the Sky
  • 7—Queen of Night
  • 8—Those Who Are Found Where There Is Said to Be Nobody
  • 9—Love Leads a Shrewd Man into Strategy
  • 10—A Desperate Attempt at Persuasion
  • 11—The Dishonesty of an Honest Woman
  • BOOK TWO — THE ARRIVAL
  • 1—Tidings of the Comer
  • 2—The People at Blooms-End Make Ready
  • 3—How a Little Sound Produced a Great Dream
  • 4—Eustacia Is Led on to an Adventure
  • 5—Through the Moonlight
  • 6—The Two Stand Face to Face
  • 7—A Coalition between Beauty and Oddness
  • 8—Firmness Is Discovered in a Gentle Heart
  • BOOK THREE — THE FASCINATION
  • 1—“My Mind to Me a Kingdom Is”
  • 2—The New Course Causes Disappointment
  • 3—The First Act in a Timeworn Drama
  • 4—An Hour of Bliss and Many Hours of Sadness
  • 5—Sharp Words Are Spoken, and a Crisis Ensues
  • 6—Yeobright Goes, and the Breach Is Complete
  • 7—The Morning and the Evening of a Day
  • 8—A New Force Disturbs the Current
  • BOOK FOUR — THE CLOSED DOOR
  • 1—The Rencounter by the Pool
  • 2—He Is Set upon by Adversities but He Sings a Song
  • 3—She Goes Out to Battle against Depression
  • 4—Rough Coercion Is Employed
  • 5—The Journey across the Heath
  • 6—A Conjuncture, and Its Result upon the Pedestrian
  • 7—The Tragic Meeting of Two Old Friends
  • 8—Eustacia Hears of Good Fortune, and Beholds Evil
  • BOOK FIVE — THE DISCOVERY
  • 1—“Wherefore Is Light Given to Him That Is in Misery”
  • 2—A Lurid Light Breaks in upon a Darkened Understanding
  • 3—Eustacia Dresses Herself on a Black Morning
  • 4—The Ministrations of a Half-forgotten One
  • 5—An Old Move Inadvertently Repeated
  • 6—Thomasin Argues with Her Cousin, and He Writes a Letter
  • 7—The Night of the Sixth of November
  • 8—Rain, Darkness, and Anxious Wanderers
  • 9—Sights and Sounds Draw the Wanderers Together
  • BOOK SIX — AFTERCOURSES
  • 1—The Inevitable Movement Onward
  • 2—Thomasin Walks in a Green Place by the Roman Road
  • 3—The Serious Discourse of Clym with His Cousin
  • 4—Cheerfulness Again Asserts Itself at Blooms-End, and Clym Finds His
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