The Return of the Native

The Return of the Native

Editor: Tony Slade

  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780140435184
  • 496 Pages
  • Penguin Classics
  • Adult


‘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.

Penny Boumelha’s introduction examines the classical and mythological references and the interplay of class and sexuality in the novel. This edition, essentially Hardy’s original book version of the novel, also includes notes, a glossary, chronology and bibliography.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.


"This is the quality Hardy shares with the great writers…this setting behind the small action the terrific action of unfathomed nature."
–D. H. Lawrence
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