Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Hardy, Thomas, 1840-1928

(Paperback - 2003)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Tess of the D'Urbervilles
A ne'er-do-well exploits his gentle daughter's beauty for social advancement in this masterpiece of tragic fiction. Hardy's 1891 novel defied convention to focus on the rural lower class for a frank treatment of sexuality and religion. Then and now, his sympathetic portrait of a victim of Victorian hypocrisy offers compelling reading.
Publisher: London, England ; New York, N.Y. : Penguin Books, [2003]
ISBN: 0141439599
Branch Call Number: CLASSICS FIC H
Characteristics: lxviii, 517 p. : ill., maps ; 20 cm.
Additional Contributors: Dolin, Tim 1959-


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This has been on my list for years because it's referenced in Jane Austen's work. Not my favorite, but glad I've read it once.

Sep 28, 2012
  • vwruleschick rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

This story takes places in the late 1800s in made-up area of England, where you meet Tess who resembles natural beauty. She is the eldest in her family, with roots on her father to royalty that does not exist any longer. Her family works on the farms and due to the time where the Long Depression occurs whereby she accidently kills the family's horse.

She is then asked by her mother to seek out this long lost cousin, Alec to assist her/her family in their need as the horse was income to their family. A major faux-pas occurs between them and she relocates back home in Marlott.

Later, she goes outside her home to work and meets up with Angel. Over time, she falls for him, but is resistant to tell him her past. He woos her and she finally accepts his marriage proposal, only to have him travel abroad and despise Tess for her past.

While her husband is away, many things occur and he finally shows up again only to see that she is with her previous lover. Will he be able to forgive her? What will Tess do? How is this all possible?

Overall, I found the story long-winded. Didn;t like Tess, Alec or Angel or any other characters. But Hardy puts forth a double standard in their culture/social heirarchy as it is still today. It was an OK read.

I just love the detail of every sentence! I read this ages ago and am starting to re-read the classics with fresh eyes. This story is so sad and so tense (I just want to punch Angel Clare in the face!)

Feb 24, 2011
  • dragonsnakes rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

One of the best authors of classic literature

Nov 05, 2010
  • shadowcat1234 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Thomas is a hard read but well worth it. A classic wordsmith . A must read.

May 11, 2010
  • meaganpeters4 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Very different book. A very different kind of 19th centruy love story but entertaining all the same!

Apr 22, 2010
  • Zentjo10 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I started this book a couple days ago. I haven't had much luck with enjoying classics but this one is a great book, even for the male reader that I am. Definitely recommended.


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A naïve farm girl is betrayed by an aristocrat and finds herself in an unhappy marriage


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Tess of the D'Urbervilles
Hardy, Thomas, 1840-1928
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