Sign In | Register
Pair of Blue Eyes by  Thomas HARDY - First Edition - 1873 - from Heritage Book Shop, LLC and

Pair of Blue Eyes

by HARDY, Thomas

Condition: See description

First Edition of Hardy's Scarce Third Novel HARDY, Thomas. A Pair of Blue Eyes. London: Tinsley Brothers, 1873. First edition in book form (first published in Tinsleysí Magazine from September 1872 to July 1873). One of presumably 500 copies printed. Three small octavo (6 5/8 x 4 3/8 inches; 168 x 110 mm). [4], 303, [1, blank]; [4], 311, [1, blank]; [4], 262 pp. Bound without half-titles. Late nineteenth-century half blue morocco over marbled boards. Boards ruled in gilt. Spines stamped and lettered in gilt, and with gilt roses in four compartments. Marbled endpapers. Top edge gilt. Occasional light staining. Overall a very nice set in a handsome binding. Hardyís third published novel, A Pair of Blue Eyes tells the story of the young woman Elfride and her competing lovers; after an aborted elopement with one of her suitors, Elfride determines to marry the other, whom she feels she truly loves. After he discovers her the extent of her previous romantic entanglements, however, he breaks off their match. The miserable Elfride eventually marries someone else entirely, but dies soon after, still pining for the lover who discarded her. With its authorís sophisticated command of language and flair for the unconventional in his fiction, A Pair of Blue Eyes contains one of the most sensationally erotic scenes in Victorian literature, when Elfride removes her petticoats and undergarments to form a rope to pull her true love up to safety after a fall off a cliff. ìHardyís third published novel, A Pair of Blue Eyes has often been overshadowed by the popularity of its successor, Far from the Madding Crowd. Yet it remains notable, not merely for showing the full emergence of those ironies of plot which characterize his later and better-known work but also for its autobiographical qualities. The setting, Stephen Smithís profession, his reasons for going to Cornwall, and even his embarrassment about his class origins: all these echo the circumstances of Hardyís courtship of Emma Gifford only shortly before he began writing the novel. The portrait of Elfride herself is perhaps the most interesting of Hardyís several attempts to capture the charm he found in Emma at their first meetingî (The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English). Purdy, pp. 8-13. Sadleir 1112. HBS 66828. $4,500

A Pair of Blue Eyes is a novel by Thomas Hardy, published in 1873. The book describes the love triangle among 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.


Review this book (Want a chance to win $50? Log-in or create an account first!) (You'll be automatically entered for a chance to win $50!)

Help & frequently asked questions


Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:
Morocco is a style of leather book binding that is usually made with goatskin, as it is durable and easy to dye. (see also...[more]
top edge gilt
Top edge gilt refers to the practice of applying gold or a gold-like finish to the top of the text block (the edges the...[more]
Marbled boards
Another of the terms referring to page or book size, octavo refers to a standard printer's sheet folded four times, producing...[more]
The decorative application of gold or gold coloring to a portion of a book on the spine, edges of the text block, or an inlay in...[more]


$3.99 shipping to USA

More shipping options >

Collecting Holographs

Collecting and identifying signed letters and holographic documents

Many authors and other famous literary figures wrote and signed letters by hand, and you can find a great collection of them in the Biblio rare book room. See our great collection of handwritten letters and holographic documents

Is My Family Bible Valuable?

Is your family bible valuable?

While they may have sentimental value, bibles passed down through the family are not often worth a lot of money. Learn more...