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A Pair of Blue Eyes

Thomas Hardy

Book Overview: 

The book describes the love triangle between a young woman, Elfride Swancourt, and her two suitors from very different backgrounds. Stephen Smith is a socially inferior but ambitious young man who adores her and with whom she shares a country background. Henry Knight is the respectable, established, older man who represents London society.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .oor they paused wistfully, like children late at school.

Women accept their destiny more readily than men. Elfride had now resigned herself to the overwhelming idea of her lover's sorry antecedents; Stephen had not forgotten the trifling grievance that Elfride had known earlier admiration than his own.

'What was that young man's name?' he inquired.

'Felix Jethway; a widow's only son.'

'I remember the family.'

'She hates me now. She says I killed him.'

Stephen mused, and they entered the porch.

'Stephen, I love only you,' she tremulously whispered. He pressed her fingers, and the trifling shadow passed away, to admit again the mutual and more tangible trouble.

The study appeared to be the only room lighted up. They entered, each with a demeanour intended to conceal the inconcealable fact that reciprocal love was their dominant chord. Elfride perceived a man, sitting with his back towa. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Before he turned to the exclusive writing of poetry late in his life, Thomas Hardy wrote a series of marvelous novels, some of which many of us were introduced to early in our lives. His novels were written during the Victorian period, a period in which his views were profoundly at odds with the...more

I love this Thomas Hardy novel almost as much as Tess of the D'Urbervilles. It is partly autobiographical, with the heroine Elfride based on his first wife Emma Gifford. It is a short, romantic novel with interesting characters and many twists and turns that are unexpected, especially the ending....more

“Men may love strongest for a while, but women love longest.”

This is the story of Elfride Swancourt, our blue-eyed heroine.
Elfride is torn between two lovers, the young, kind-hearted, socially inferior Stephen Smith, an architect; and much older and scrupulous Londoner, Henry Knight, a literary...more

This is a novel I would highly recommend to everybody, not only to Hardy's fans. The story is so nicely unfolded and detailed that you can almost feel the wind in that spellbinding cliff scene.
This is a simple story, don't expect great literary references or witty remarks. But it is told with so...more

Curse you Thomas Hardy! Curse you for tearing my heart out and making me cry like a dummie over fictional characters. I thought I was so smart and knew what was going to happen and you ripped the rug out from under me. You left me without my happy ending. Curse you! And the saddest thing is that...more

Triste come solo Thomas Hardy sa essere, ma ormai questo è il suo quarto libro che leggo e ci sono abituata. Dopo un po' ti fai le ossa e accetti il destino nefasto dei suoi personaggi. In "Due occhi azzurri" il protagonista è un triangolo amoroso tra Elfride, figlia di un pastore, Stephen, un gi...more

2,5/5 Un poco meh.
Mi menos preferida de Hardy con 'El alcalde de Casterbridge', aún así tiene sus momentos.

Yet another story of love and life by Hardy, he advocates for women and understands them in ways i don't know how but he does, and he is a wizard with words and he knows the sunset and the moonlight and everything in between as passionately as humanly possible.
"A lady would have said there was a...more

[Spoilers!] Thom’s third novel is a classic Victorian tale of a scatterbrained ingenue who falls for a working class upstart and changes her mind about eloping with him in London while eloping with him in London who then starts seeing the working class upstart’s posher middle-class mentor who ove...more

This was a fast read, and I very much enjoyed it! If you are already a Hardy fan, I heartily recommend reading A Pair of Blue Eyes (1873); if you aren't, this just might make you one. A Pair of Blues Eyes was the third novel published by Hardy, and the first published under his own name. In his l...more

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