The following letter, from Hardy to his publishers, Smith, Elder & Co., has been transcribed by Birgit Plietzsch from CL, vol.1, p61.
See also our GENERAL CAUTION about e-texts
1, ARUNDEL TERRACE, | TRINITY ROAD, UPPER TOOTING. S.W. | Oct. 1. 1878
I enclose for your inspection a Sketch of the supposed scene in which the "Return of the Native" is laid copied from the one I used in writing the story & my suggestion is that we place an engraving of it as frontispiece to the first volume. Unity of place is so seldom preserved in novels that a map of the scene of action is as a rule impracticable: but since the present story affords an opportunity of doing so I am of opinion that it would be a desirable novelty, likely to increase a reader's interest. I may add that a critic one remarked to me that nothing could give such reality to a tale as a map of this sort: & I myself have often felt the same thing.
The expense of the engraving would not, I imagine, be very great. In the drawing of the book it would be desirable to shade the hills more fully than I have done in the sketch.
Hoping that you will be disposed to give the suggestion a trial, I am, Dear Sirs