Synopses & Reviews
One of Hardy's classic statements about modern love, courtship, and marriage, The Return of the Native is set in the pastoral village of Egdon Heath. The fiery Eustacia Vye, wishing only for passionate love, believes that her escape from Egdon lies in her marriage to Clym Yeobright, the returning "native, " home from Paris and discontented with his work there. Clym wishes to remain in Egdon, however -- a desire that sets him in opposition to his wife and brings them both to despair. Behind the narrative of The Return of the Native lie the tragic fates of Flaubert's Madame Bovary and Oedipus, and in writing the novel Hardy endowed his ordinary characters with the status of tragic heroes, seen especially in the ill-fated lovers and Damon Wildeve, who spoil their chances to master their own destinies. The Introduction and Notes featured in this new edition incorporate the most up-to-date scholarship on Thomas Hardy.