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Tess of the d'Urbervilles (1891)

by Thomas Hardy

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
15,861216232 (3.82)611
Violated by one man, forsaken by another, Tess Durbeyfield is the magnificent and spirited heroine of Thomas Hardy's immortal work. Of all the great English novelists, no one writes more eloquently of tragic destiny than Hardy. With the innocent and powerless victim Tess, he creates profound sympathy for human frailty while passionately indicting the injustices of Victorian society. Scorned by outraged readers upon its publication in 1891, Tess of the d'Urbervilles is today one of the enduring classics of nineteenth-century literature.… (more)
  1. 70
    Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy (alaudacorax)
    alaudacorax: At the moment, I think this is the finest of Hardy's novels - if you've read and liked any of the others I'm sure you'll like this. If you've been turned-off by the grimness of some of his others - Tess ..., for instance - you might well find this more palatable.… (more)
  2. 40
    Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe (roby72)
  3. 52
    Middlemarch (1/2) by George Eliot (readerbabe1984)
  4. 30
    Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy (Booksloth)
  5. 31
    Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (Johanna11)
    Johanna11: Both books write about people with expectations for their future, both are very well written at the end of the nineteenth century.
  6. 20
    The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton (Lapsus_Linguae)
    Lapsus_Linguae: Both novels depict an attractive young woman who becomes an outcast because of society's sexual mores.
  7. 31
    Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (roby72)
  8. 20
    The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James (roby72)
  9. 11
    Adam Bede by George Eliot (Heather39)
    Heather39: Both books tell the story of a young, working class woman who enters into a relationship with a gentleman, eventually to her downfall.
  10. 12
    Villette by Charlotte Brontë (allenmichie)
  11. 12
    The Quarry Wood by Nan Shepherd (edwinbcn)
    edwinbcn: Written by a woman, "The Quarry Wood" explores the awakening sexuality and awareness of the young Martha. More outspoken than Thomas Hardy, but not yet as free as D.H. Lawrence.
  12. 14
    Muriel's Wedding [1994 film] by P. J. Hogan (lucyknows)
    lucyknows: Muriel's Wedding could be paired with Tess of the D'Urbervilles as well as several other novels, such as, My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and even with Shakespeare's play Much Ado About Nothing
1890s (16)
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» See also 611 mentions

English (205)  French (4)  Italian (2)  Dutch (1)  Bulgarian (1)  German (1)  All languages (214)
Showing 1-5 of 205 (next | show all)
Tess was the second Thomas Hardy novel I read and probably overall his best. The characters are deeply drawn, with complex motivations. It's a deeply tragic work, but the tragedy seems to flow realistically, arising from the social norms of the day and from the characters own failings, which are often indistinguishable from their virtues. Tess's pride and independence keep her from asking for help from those who would have been willing to provide it, for instance. The final pages were the books only unrealistic turn for me, with Tess's husband seemingly ready to start his live anew with Tess's sister. I guess such things might actually happen in real life, but it held and unpleasant creepiness for me.

The setting is probably the real star of this book. Hardy is meticulous in his description of life on an English dairy, but he as a deft hand that doesn't allow the description to distract from the plot. Hardy also produces stunningly beautiful prose, but his books never feel overwritten. Highly recommended. ( )
  James_Maxey | Jun 29, 2020 |


Not long ago I had a parting with my mother which was unexpectedly emotional. We both hastily pulled back from that, not being given to such displays with each other, but a few days later my mother wrote to say she was suddenly overwhelmed with the sense that there are more partings than meetings in life, if that were philosophically possible.

A mathematician, I fancy, would say this is a perfectly simple situation. If there is a parting, there must have been a meeting, just as for every ending a beginning. And yet this is simply not true, which is why science is so limited in what it can explain to us. In fact, the more one begins to consider the matter of meetings and partings the more complicated it all becomes.

My father died a couple of months ago. Was that his parting from me, as my mother moved him from one position from another to make his unconscious state more comfortable for him, only to see him stop breathing for ever? Or was it a few days prior when I arrived in Adelaide and he squeezed my hand, his last conscious gesture? Was that a greeting or a parting? A few years ago I had two of my closest friends die, suddenly, without warning, doing domestic chores one minute, dead moments later. Where is the parting? An innocuous affair on both occasions. Breakfast with one the day before, ‘see you on Friday, Maree’. Coffee with the other, ‘Til the weekend, Paul’. These are not partings.

And, if it comes to that, which meeting matches a parting? In the case of my relationship with my father, is his death to be counterpoised by my birth? My father most gingerly picking up this tiny thing who is appalled by the flat hairy chest she finds with the entirely inadequate nipple. ‘Whah. WHAHHHHHHH. Give me back to the one with the big breasts, get me outta here.’ Most likely complete relief on the part of both of us. Does this occasion in any way match up to our final parting?

Do we intuitively feel like the partings outweigh the meetings because in the end sadness overwhelms joy? But is this really true? Do not tiny moments of happiness have the capacity to overrun and totally banish the sadness that led up to them? Maybe some tiny twist in logic of which a mathematician might totally disapprove lets us see not meetings and partings, but partings and meetings, sadness leading to joy, not joy to sadness.

I’d forgotten until I just watched it, that Tess is a story of meetings and partings. In a life of cruel partings, and meetings which are always tainted so that joy is melancholic and not to be trusted, when Tess takes the final decisive step that permits her no more than a few days of the exquisite all-encompassing happiness which was so rightfully hers, but which she could only take through an act that ensured her happiness would be the briefest of things, still, do we not have a sense that those few sweet days are what she takes with her, that they negate every shitty dreadful thing that has happened to her before then?

rest is here:

http://alittleteaalittlechat.wordpress.com/2013/04/08/tess-of-the-durbervilles-t... ( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |


Not long ago I had a parting with my mother which was unexpectedly emotional. We both hastily pulled back from that, not being given to such displays with each other, but a few days later my mother wrote to say she was suddenly overwhelmed with the sense that there are more partings than meetings in life, if that were philosophically possible.

A mathematician, I fancy, would say this is a perfectly simple situation. If there is a parting, there must have been a meeting, just as for every ending a beginning. And yet this is simply not true, which is why science is so limited in what it can explain to us. In fact, the more one begins to consider the matter of meetings and partings the more complicated it all becomes.

My father died a couple of months ago. Was that his parting from me, as my mother moved him from one position from another to make his unconscious state more comfortable for him, only to see him stop breathing for ever? Or was it a few days prior when I arrived in Adelaide and he squeezed my hand, his last conscious gesture? Was that a greeting or a parting? A few years ago I had two of my closest friends die, suddenly, without warning, doing domestic chores one minute, dead moments later. Where is the parting? An innocuous affair on both occasions. Breakfast with one the day before, ‘see you on Friday, Maree’. Coffee with the other, ‘Til the weekend, Paul’. These are not partings.

And, if it comes to that, which meeting matches a parting? In the case of my relationship with my father, is his death to be counterpoised by my birth? My father most gingerly picking up this tiny thing who is appalled by the flat hairy chest she finds with the entirely inadequate nipple. ‘Whah. WHAHHHHHHH. Give me back to the one with the big breasts, get me outta here.’ Most likely complete relief on the part of both of us. Does this occasion in any way match up to our final parting?

Do we intuitively feel like the partings outweigh the meetings because in the end sadness overwhelms joy? But is this really true? Do not tiny moments of happiness have the capacity to overrun and totally banish the sadness that led up to them? Maybe some tiny twist in logic of which a mathematician might totally disapprove lets us see not meetings and partings, but partings and meetings, sadness leading to joy, not joy to sadness.

I’d forgotten until I just watched it, that Tess is a story of meetings and partings. In a life of cruel partings, and meetings which are always tainted so that joy is melancholic and not to be trusted, when Tess takes the final decisive step that permits her no more than a few days of the exquisite all-encompassing happiness which was so rightfully hers, but which she could only take through an act that ensured her happiness would be the briefest of things, still, do we not have a sense that those few sweet days are what she takes with her, that they negate every shitty dreadful thing that has happened to her before then?

rest is here:

http://alittleteaalittlechat.wordpress.com/2013/04/08/tess-of-the-durbervilles-t... ( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY. ( )
  jostie13 | May 14, 2020 |
The struggles that Tess faced are just as real today. Do you tell or not tell the truth? Can you live with hiding the truth your whole life, perpetually afraid of being exposed? But are you able to take the consequences of telling the truth? Tess didn't think it would be so bad, especially after Clare admitted to almost a similar thing in his past. However, the standards to which he holds himself are different from how he holds Tess, to her disappointment and to disastrous consequences. ( )
  siok | May 2, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 205 (next | show all)
Daring in its treatment of conventional ideas, pathetic in its sadness, and profoundly stirring by its tragic power. The very title, "Tess of the D'Urbervilles: A Pure Woman", is a challenge to convention.
 

» Add other authors (114 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Thomas Hardyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Alvarez, A.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cosham, RalphNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dolin, TimEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Firth, PeterNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Galef, DavidIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gribble, VivienIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Higonnet, Margaret R.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hill, JamesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Horton, TimEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Irwin, MichaelIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Joshua, ShirleyEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Porter, DavinaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Skilton, DavidEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stubbs, ImogenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thorne, StephenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
'...Poor wounded name! My bosom as a bed
Shall lodge thee.',
—W. Shakespeare [Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act 1, Scene 2, 111/12] & should read:
'Poor wounded name: My bosom as a bed
Shall lodge thee...',
[Riverside Shakespeare (1997)].
Dedication
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On an evening in the latter part of May a middle-aged man was walking homeward from Shaston to the village of Marlott, in the adjoining Vale of Blakemore or Blackmoor.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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In order to step out of family poverty, Tess attempts to find her ancient relations, the d'Urbervilles. Unfortunately, she is taken advantage of by a man which causes her even more strife throughout the rest of her life. She is forced into a moral delimma when she truly falls in love with another man due to her previous circumstances. More conflicted than ever, Tess is able to eventually become a strong woman who makes choices for herself instead of what the society tells her is right. This book was some what a hard book for me to get through because some parts of it seem very dry, but overall the story line is interesting.
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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141439599, 0141028904, 0141199946

Urban Romantics

2 editions of this book were published by Urban Romantics.

Editions: 1907832661, 190783267X

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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