A novel by T. Hardy, published serially 1892, revised and reissued 1897.
The central figure is Jocelyn Pierston, a sculptor of the Isle of Slingers (i.e. Portland) who falls in love successively with three generations of island women; Avice Caro, her daughter, and her granddaughter, all of the same name. He is seeking in each the perfect form in woman, as he seeks it in stone. Perversity of circumstances, and the varying natures of the women, prevent him from marrying any of them. He eventually marries an elderly widow, Marcia, when both he and she have been, like the rock of Portland, subjected to the raspings and chisellings of time.
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Thomas Hardy (1840—1928) novelist and poet