homas Hardy, who wrote some of the best known English novels, one of which was called The Return of the Native
, said, "I am convinced that it is better for a writer to know a little bit of the world remarkably well than to know a great part of the world remarkably little." The bit of the world Hardy knew remarkably well was his native place, the county of Dorset in the west of England. It was a very small bit of the world, and a remote rural bit at that, which did not keep up with the fast-moving times of the last quarter of the 19th century. Hardy’s novels reveal the profound influence of his native place but he was not a country bumpkin. One biographer of Hardy has said, "The two contrasting modes of feeling—for his native soil and for his cultural mecca (London)—entwine, sometimes fusing, sometimes pulling asunder, always with varying degrees of emphasis, and never finally resolved."
Jawaharal Nehru was torn between his native place and the culture he absorbed from Britain. In the postscript to his autobiography, he said,...