The Return of the Native Criticism

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Before it was even published as a novel, The Return of the Native had already been rejected by Leslie Stephen, the editor of the prestigious Corn-hill Magazine. Stephen objected to the hint of ex-

tramarital sex and found it inappropriate for a family magazine. The serial ran inBelgravia, which, according to Desmond Hawkins, Hardy found to be an inferior publication.

The initial critical response to the novel was mixed. A review in Athenaeum deemed it "distinctly inferior to anything of his we have yet read." The reviewer also took issue with the language used by the characters, which seemed "pitched throughout in too high a key to suit the talkers." That same month critic W. E. Henley reviewed the book in The Academy. He found the work highly artificial but was reluctant to say so, because Hardy himself seemed sincere. On a positive note, he praised the...

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This section contains 602 words
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Buy The Return of the Native Study Guide
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