With a new Introduction by Cedric Watts, Research Professor of English, University of Sussex.
A Pair of Blue Eyes, though early in the sequence of Hardys novels, is lively and gripping. Its dramatic cliff-hanging episode, for example, is at once tense, ironic, feministic and erotic.
With settings in Wessex and London, the novel also has some strongly autobiographical features, as the blue-eyed heroine, Elfride Swancourt, is based largely on Emma Gifford, who became Thomas Hardys first wife. Elfrides vivacious nature attracts several lovers, but she is beset by sexual prejudice, and the ensuing ironies reveal the constraints of her times.
A Pair of Blue Eyes provides an engaging and moving experience for todays readers.