Return of the Native

ISBN-10: 0140435182
ISBN-13: 9780140435184
Edition: 1999
Description: 'You are ambitious, Eustacia - no, not exactly ambitious, luxurious. i ought to be of the same vein, to make you happy, i suppose.' Tempestuous Eustacia Vye passes her days dreaming of passionate love and the escape it may bring from the small  More...
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Copyright Year: 1999
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication Date: 8/1/1999
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 496
Size: 5.25" wide x 7.75" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.990
Language: English

'You are ambitious, Eustacia - no, not exactly ambitious, luxurious. i ought to be of the same vein, to make you happy, i suppose.' Tempestuous Eustacia Vye passes her days dreaming of passionate love and the escape it may bring from the small community of Egdon Heath. Hearing that Clym Yeobright is to return from Paris, she sets her heart on marrying him, believing that through him she can leave rural life and find fulfilment elsewhere. But she is to be disappointed, for Clym has dreams of his own, and they have little in common with Eustacia's. Their unhappy marriage causes havoc in the lives of those close to them, in particular Damon Wildeve, Eustacia's former lover, Clym's mother and his cousin Thomasin. The Return of the Native illustrates the tragic potential of romantic illusion and how its protagonists fail to recognize their opportunities to control their own destinies.

Thomas Hardy was born on June 2, 1840, in Higher Bockhampton, England. The eldest child of Thomas and Jemima, Hardy studied Latin, French, and architecture in school. He also became an avid reader. Upon graduation, Hardy traveled to London to work as an architect's assistant under the guidance of Arthur Bloomfield. He also began writing poetry. How I Built Myself a House, Hardy's first professional article, was published in 1865. Two years later, while still working in the architecture field, Hardy wrote the unpublished novel The Poor Man and the Lady. During the next five years, Hardy wrote Desperate Remedies, Under the Greenwood Tree, and a Pair of Blue Eyes. In 1873, Hardy decided it was time to relinquish his architecture career and concentrate on writing full-time. In September 1974, his first book as a full-time author, Far From the Madding Crowd, appeared serially. After publishing more than two dozen novels, one of the last being Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Hardy returned to writing poetry--his first love. Some of Hardy's volumes of poetry include Poems of the Past and Present, The Dynasts: Part One, Two, and Three, Time's Laughingstocks, and The Famous Tragedy of the Queen of Cornwall. From 1833 until his death, Hardy lived in a house in Dorchester, England. The house, Max Gate, was designed by Hardy, who also supervised its' construction. Thomas Hardy died on January 11, 1928. His ashes were buried in Poet's Corner at Westminster Abbey.

Jane Smiley was born in Los Angeles and educated at Vassar College and the University of Iowa. She is currently a professor of English at Iowa State University. Her first critically acclaimed novel, The Greenlanders (1988), was preceded by three other novels and a highly regarded short story collection, The Age of Grief (1987). Smiley's novel A Thousand Acres (1991) received both the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Like King Lear, to which it invites comparisons, the novel deals with the division of property, a father, three daughters, and the powerful feelings and secret crimes that bind them. Familial relations preoccupy Smiley throughout her works. "I think the tensions of family life are the interesting things to talk about since I accept the closeness of family as a given," she commented in an interview. She eyes the shifting ground of love relations without illusion, yet with sympathy: her portrait of marriage through the meditations of a 35-year-old dentist and father of three girls in The Age of Grief (1987) conveys beautifully the compromises of closeness and the intensities and confusions of ordinary life."Everything I write, I write in a sort of investigative mode," Smiley has said, "and to me an interesting character is a person who is trying to figure out what's right and trying to reconcile everything that they are told with what their feelings are. I think my characters are usually trying to come up with some right way to act, or even to think or be, in the face of a lot of confusing input."

Acknowledgements
General Editor's Preface
Chronology: Hardy's Life and Works
Map: The Wessex of the Novels
Bibliographical Note
Introduction
Further Reading
A Note on the History of the Text
The Return of the Native
Notes
Preface to the 1895 Edition and Postscript to the 1912 Edition
A Note on the Illustrations and the Map of the Novel
Glossary

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