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Home » Books » Fiction & Literature » Classics

Tess of the d'Urbervilles

Wordsworth Classics

By Thomas Hardy, Michael Irwin (Introduction and notes by), Dr. Keith Carabine (Series edited by)

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Format: Paperback, 384 pages
Other Information: notes, bibliography
Published In: United Kingdom, 05 May 1992
Introduction and Notes by Michael Irwin, Professor of English Literature, University of Kent at Canterbury. Set in Hardy's Wessex, Tess is a moving novel of hypocrisy and double standards. Its challenging sub-title, A Pure Woman, infuriated critics when the book was first published in 1891, and it was condemned as immoral and pessimistic. It tells of Tess Durbeyfield, the daughter of a poor and dissipated villager, who learns that she may be descended from the ancient family of d'Urbeville. In her search for respectability her fortunes fluctuate wildly, and the story assumes the proportions of a Greek tragedy. It explores Tess's relationships with two very different men, her struggle against the social mores of the rural Victorian world which she inhabits and the hypocrisy of the age. In addressing the double standards of the time, Hardy's masterly evocation of a world which we have lost, provides one of the most compelling stories in the canon of English literature, whose appeal today defies the judgement of Hardy's contemporary critics.
EAN: 9781853260056
ISBN: 1853260053
Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd
Dimensions: 19.86 x 12.7 x 2.01 centimetres (0.24 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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2 review(s)
All Reviews
Mary Anne Kuhn on
This book is an account of the struggles and tragedies of Tess's life. She is a really innocent girl but is put under bad influence at a young age, and this leads to the ruin of her entire life. Really heart-breaking and depressing at times, howver it is an excellent book for perservering readers!!
Diana Clarke on
Although some of the language is archaic, this is a tale of a naive beauty who is betrayed and eventually rebels. The scenery descriptions are beautiful and you feel a kinship with this poor girl who struggles on valiantly. It invites many comparisons between modern day attitudes to love and romance whilst set to the background of the industrial revolution and the impact on traditional village life.


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