A Pair of Blue Eyes Paperback – 30 Oct 2012
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
About the Author
Thomas Hardy, (2 June 1840 – 11 January 1928) was an English novelist and poet. A Victorian realist, in the tradition of George Eliot, he was also influenced both in his novels and poetry by Romanticism, especially by William Wordsworth. Charles Dickens is another important influence on Thomas Hardy. Like Charles Dickens he was also highly critical of much in Victorian society, though Hardy focussed more on a declining rural society. While Hardy wrote poetry throughout his life, and regarded himself primarily as a poet, his first collection was not published until 1898. Initially therefore he gained fame as the author of such novels as Far from the Madding Crowd (1874), The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886), Tess of the d'Urbervilles (1891), and Jude the Obscure (1895).
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
The plot is a simple one. A young girl, Elfrida Swancourt - the owner of the sparkling blue eyes of the title - falls in love first with a young architect, Stephen Smith, and then, when Stephen travels to India to make his fortune, with Stephen's mentor, the learned and erudite Henry Knight. Elfrida's troubled indecision in choosing between her two suitors forms the focus of the novel, but what makes it soar way above so much romantic Victorian fiction is the beauty of Hardy's prose. The book contains dozens of superbly written dramatic episodes. Most famous of these is the incident where Henry Knight finds himself precariously hanging from the ledge of a cliff, his fingers gradually losing their hold, and with his life depending entirely upon whether Elfrida can find a way to rescue him. Of course she does, but only by removing a number of her undergarments (in the pouring rain of course) and knotting them into a rope so Henry can hoist himself to safety.Read more ›
I, however, by far prefer his prose. Hardy's poetry is fixated on the same old, tired topics, and seems far too interested in versification to enable to it be well-rounded and deep. It's messy and disorientated. But, in prose, free from contrivedly experimental verse-form and the pattern of rhyme and meter, Hardy's brilliance as a writer is exposed.
A Pair of Blue Eyes is not, I suppose, on the same level as Tess of the D'Urbervilles or Jude the Obscure, but it is clean and direct, simple and earnest. Being an early novel, it seems more natural and less laboured in its presentation.
The characters are not always sympathetic, but they are rendered to the reader with such honesty that even if you do not come to like them, they at least have lasting impact. Interestingly, we have no hero or heroine. At first you might think it is Elfride Swancourt, the beautiful clergyman's daughter with the blue eyes of the title (an obvious interpretation of Hardy's first wife, Emma Gifford. Both she and the Cornwall setting of the novel are immortalised in such poems as Beeny Cliff and At Castle Boterel), but then Stephen Smith (who echoes Hardy somewhat), the thoroughly good and naive architect, comes onto the scene. Yet he cannot be the hero is the novel--he is absent for most of it!
Smith is the most sympathetic of the characters, and it is made a victim of, and wronged. But hang on--I don't want you to think that this novel is about good and bad people, wrongdoers and victims. As I have said, the characters are far too rounded for that.Read more ›
A Pair of Blue Eyes is the story of Elfride Swancourt, a vicar's daughter living in a remote corner of England, who is forced to choose between two very different men. One of these, Stephen Smith, is a young architect whom she meets when he is sent by his employer to survey the church buildings. At first, the vicar approves of Stephen and encourages his daughter to spend time with him. It soon emerges, however, that Stephen has been hiding an important secret from the Swancourts; something that could put his relationship with Elfride in jeopardy. Later in the book, another man arrives at Endelstow Vicarage - Henry Knight, an essayist and reviewer from London - and Elfride has to make a difficult decision.
As you might expect with this being a Hardy book, nothing goes smoothly for any of the characters. I would describe A Pair of Blue Eyes as being similar in some ways to the later Tess of the d'Urbervilles, though not as dark and bleak - and not quite as tragic either.
The descriptions of scenery in this book are stunningly beautiful and bring the setting vividly to life. If you're familiar with Hardy you'll know that he sets most of his works in the fictional region of Wessex in the southwest of England. This story actually takes place in Off-Wessex or Lyonesse, which equates to Cornwall.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book is in really good condition and everything, it's just roughly A4 size so be careful of that :)Published 10 months ago by Mark Twain
Another classic though rather less well known work from Thomas Hardy.Published 10 months ago by Lee09
Poor quality paper, print and cover. I will not buy from Wordsworth Classics again.Published 13 months ago by Lesley Simmons
Can't go wrong with Hardy although language different from our own somewhat (better but can be tad hard to understand).Published 13 months ago by Lindsay
This is the fourth T. Hardy book I've read (the others being "Far from the Madding Crowd", "Under the Greenwood Tree", and "Desperate Measures"). Read morePublished 18 months ago by Jenny (South Africa)