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Classic of the month: A Pair of Blue Eyes by Thomas Hardy

August 22, 2013

Penguin India Blog


“One point in her, however, you did notice: that was her eyes. In them was seen a sublimation of all of her; it was not necessary to look further: there she lived.” – Thomas Hardy

Touted as the most autobiographical of all of his works, A Pair of Blue Eyes by Thomas Hardy was first serialized in the Tinsley’s Magazine between September 1872 and July 1873. Published separately in 1873, this was the author’s third novel but interestingly, it was the first to bear his name on the publication.

The novel recounts the tale of Elfride Swancourt and her entanglement with two very different men: the socially inferior architect, Stephen Smith, and the older, more distinguished, Henry Knight.

A strong autobiographical strain, a stirring plot and extremely complex characters is what makes this classic, one of the best pieces of literary fiction to be written by one of the best…

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