• "Throbs with a very Victorian sense of geologies, pre-histories and even astronomy; you can feel the planet moving under the feet"

    Daily Telegraph
  • "Inimitably brooding style"

    The Times
  • "Besides my complete identification with its heroine, I loved the sheer relentless power of the writing. What other writer would start a novel with six solid pages of description without introducing a single character? Like D H Lawrence, Hardy isn't to everyone's taste: too much blighted love and atheistic pessimism. To me, ensconced in a convent thick with incense, confession and church twice on Sundays, a little atheistic pessimism was a welcome antidote"

    Maeve Haran,, Independent
  • "Splendid"

    Daily Telegraph
  • "Most of Hardy's novels, and particularly the early ones, have a Shakespearean power of creating a unique world and climate of being . . . The Return of the Native is . . . thoughtful, valedictory, poetic, tinged with the somberness of an uncertainty which seems to well up from the depths of the author's own subconscious . . . Hardy's sense of the tragic life of human beings, mere small fragments of consciousness in a vast uncaring universe, comes directly from his own youthful awareness of the place and circumstances described in the novel"

    John Bayley

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