A Pair Of Blue Eyes – Thomas Hardy
„A Pair of Blue Eyes,“ Mr. Hardy’s third novel, gives the heart history of a rather susceptible but very charming young lady, Miss Elfride Swancourt, who, by the way, is said to be unpopular with her own sex. It has at least one strong character, Henry Knight, the reviewer, Elfride’s second lover. It contains also one very powerful scene, the rescue of Knight from the cliff through the heroism and presence of mind of Elfride. It is not only an interesting story, but a very subtle study of feminine instincts, yet although a successful novel as a whole, it can hardly be placed among our author’s masterpieces. The last scene of all in which Elfride’s two disappointed lovers encounter her husband at her tomb, is pathetic in the extreme.
A Pair Of Blue Eyes.
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Plot summary of A pair of blue eyes(from Wikipedia):
The book describes the love triangle of 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. Although the two are friends, Knight is not aware of Smith’s previous liaison with Elfride.
Elfride finds herself caught in a battle between her heart, her mind and the expectations of those around her – her parents and society. When Elfride’s father finds that his guest and candidate for his daughter’s hand, architect’s assistant Stephen Smith, is the son of a mason, he immediately orders him to leave. Knight, who is a relative of Elfride’s stepmother, is later on the point of seeking to marry Elfride, but ultimately rejects her when he learns she had been previously courted.
Elfride, out of desperation, marries a third man, Lord Luxellian. The conclusion finds both suitors travelling together to Elfride, both intent on claiming her hand, and neither knowing either that she is already married or that they are accompanying her corpse and coffin as they travel.
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