The Return of the Native, both powerful and sombre, is considered to be the most representative of Hardy's novels. It is set in Egdon Heath whose lowering, titanic presence dominates the men and women who live on it, and whose menace and beauty Hardy so surely and superbly evokes. The novel tells the story of Eustacia Vye, Thomasin and Mistress Yeobright, and the men who influence and alter their lives--Diggory Venn, a reddleman, Damon Wildeve and returning 'native', Clym Yeobright. The passionate Eustacia Vye feels herself imprisoned in the wild, isolated Egdon Heath, and her desire in life is 'to be loved to madness'. Clym Yeobright, a diamond merchant in Paris, disgusted with the worthlessness of his occupation, returns to Egdon intending to become a school-master in his native Heath. He falls in love with Eustacia, and she marries him, hoping to induce him to return to the exciting life of Paris. But Clym's sight fails and he is reduced to furze-cutting for a livelihood, a catastrophe that drives her to despair.