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Return of the Native Study Guide

by Thomas Hardy

Return of the Native study guide contains a biography of Thomas Hardy, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

As the novel opens, the wild landscape of Edgon Heath broods alone, save for an old man walking home. The old man, Captain Vye, passes a reddleman, Diggory Venn. Diggory is discreetly transporting a distressed young woman. She is Thomasin Yeobright, humiliated that her wedding to Damon Wildeve was halted due to an issue with the marriage licence in a nearby community.

The truth is more complicated, though. Wildeve is still infatuated with his former partner, the passionate and mysterious Eustacia Vye, who lives on the heath by circumstance but wants nothing more than to escape it. She lights a bonfire that evening to draw him to her. The fire attracts only minimal attention, since there are bonfires all along the heath to commemorate…

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