A Pair of Blue Eyes

  • by Thomas Hardy
  • Narrated by Anna Bentinck
  • 15 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Hardy's third novel, A Pair of Blue Eyes, follows the story of Elfride Swancourt. The daughter of the rector of Endelstow, a sparse, sea-swept parish in Cornwall, Elfride is caught between two suitors of very different backgrounds: Stephen Smith, a young architect restoring the old parish church; and the respectable, older man of London society, Henry Knight. The blue-eyed and high-spirited protagonist must untangle the conflicting messages of her heart and her mind.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Depressing story & unbelievable central character

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

No. While I realize Thomas Hardy is supposed to be one of the great writers, this wasn't my cup of tea. The story centers around an innocent girl who's not very decisive or clever. It's hard to imagine her last lover, an intellectual, really sees anything in common with her. Hardy is a master of the English language, but at times his using 20 words when 5 will do to get the point across, can tax one's patience.


What could Thomas Hardy have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Create a more believable central character.


What about Anna Bentinck’s performance did you like?

Anna's performance was great. I picked the book in part based on her being the narrator.


Could you see A Pair of Blue Eyes being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

It could be made into a movie I suppose. The leading lady could be Anne Hathaway, with Russell Crowe playing Harry, and Jude Law playing Smith. Elfride's father could be played by Michael Caine.


Any additional comments?

I persevered because of the narrator, but was annoyed with myself for investing that much time to reach a disappointing ending.

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- Molly R.

What a talent

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Definitely for someone who loves beautiful descriptive writing and development of characters


What was one of the most memorable moments of A Pair of Blue Eyes?

To learn that her father did exactly as he warned his daughter of doing


What about Anna Bentinck’s performance did you like?

She's wonderful with a steady, listenable pace and distinct characterizations


Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

As are all of Hardy's books, this was a tradegy. I did cry at the stupid decisions the supposedly educated lover made - even for his time.


Any additional comments?

Hardy's books are gorgeous and meaty and everything I love in a story.

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- Suea

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-10-2015
  • Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks