What Do I Read Next?
All of Hardy’s other novels are well-respected, but Tess of the D’Urbervilles, published in 1891, is particularly like Return of the Native in theme and setting.
One of the greatest novelists of Hardy’s time was George Meredith, an author known for his psychological insights. His Diana of the Crossways (1885) is about a woman who has an affair and is accused of giving away secrets to her lover.
Margaret Mitchell’s 1936 romance set during the Civil War, Gone With the Wind, is an epic story about longing and survival. The protagonist of the novel, Scarlett O’Hara, possesses many of the same traits as Eustacia Vye: she is proud, ambitious, restless, and driven by love.
George Eliot (the pen name of Mary Ann Evans) wrote similar stories about life in rural England. The Mill on the Floss was published in 1860 and it concerns the trials of a sensitive young woman, facing rejection by her family.
The definitive biography of Thomas Hardy is Martin Seymour-Smith’s Hardy (1994), which includes exhaustive detail and comprehensive insight.