The beautiful and exotic Eustacia Vye feels trapped by her life in Egdon Heath, an area occupied mostly by simple rural folk, where superstition and the supernatural have taken root. As she tries to escape her life of constraint and frustration, Eustacia finds herself drawn deeper and deeper into life in the heath.
The Return of the Native was met with some conservative criticism at the time of its publication as the content and the anti-heroine Eustacia were quite controversial for that time. Despite this, The Return of the Native remains one of Thomas Hardy’s best-known and most popular works.
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