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If any single novel may be taken as the key to Hardy's mind and art it is probably The Return of the Native , his sixth book , published in 1878.
These great poetic and heroic scenes are exactly what compose the design that lies behind Hardy's other novels and gives them their sense of timelessness .
But he is regional in a different way from that of Hardy . Hardy was of Wessex and remained of Wessex , as Bennett was never of the Five Towns .
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Remember when literary critics read books and wrote about them? No? Well, I do now. He got a few things wrong - what did these people ever see in H.G. Wells? In Meredith? That they should be put next ... Read full review
THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY
THE FIRST GENERA
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