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Tess of the d'Urbervilles (1891)

by Thomas Hardy

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
17,327232237 (3.82)649
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. 80
    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. 62
    Middlemarch (1/2) by George Eliot (readerbabe1984)
  4. 30
    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.
  5. 30
    Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy (Booksloth)
  6. 20
    The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James (roby72)
  7. 31
    Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (roby72)
  8. 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.
  9. 00
    Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (tmrps)
  10. 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.
  11. 12
    Villette by Charlotte Brontë (allenmichie)
  12. 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.
  13. 24
    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 (23)

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» See also 649 mentions

English (222)  French (4)  Italian (2)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  Bulgarian (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (232)
Showing 1-5 of 222 (next | show all)
Flott gagnrýni hjá Hardy á Viktoríanskt samfélag í Bretlandi. Hann birtir lesandanum harmþrungið lífshlaup ungrar konu sem kremst undir stífri stéttskiptingu, hrokafullum tvíeggjuðum siðaboðskap og trúarofstæki.
Um leið getur lesandinn varla en hrifist og orðið snortin af söguhetjunni Tess. ( )
  SkuliSael | Apr 28, 2022 |
My third visit to the lovely town of Dorchester and surrounding parts of Dorset and as a consequence, my third Thomas Hardy novel. Tess is a simultaneously heroic and tragic figure, in her relationships with two men Alec D'urberville, who seduces and by implication rapes her, and Angel Clare, whom she marries, loses and then regains. I found the ending quite sudden and shocking. There is also humour, especially in the early parts with the Durbeyfield family, Tess's parents keen to show themselves the lost but superior branch to the aristocratic D'urbevilles. As with other Hardy novels, there is a very good feel for the ebb and flow of rural life, farming and the seasons. This is not plot-driven like Mayor of Casterbridge, but is more tragic than the more similar Far from the Madding Crowd, and Tess's travails make a powerful impression on the reader. ( )
  john257hopper | Apr 24, 2022 |
This Classic is the tragedy of a young country girl/woman in Wessex during the 1870s who tries to make her way through the world with love and a sense of dignity— even as her world is corrupted by outside influences. There is plenty of fodder for literary criticism and discussion, but what cannot be rendered equivocal is the richness of the text and the vivid, painterly descriptions of the settings and characters. This edition contains endnotes that compare other MSS of the text (Hardy made revisions/redactions to accommodate himself and various publications, most notably Graphic in the latter case), as well as references to paintings that the author was influenced by; Biblical citations & notes and; song attributions... all of which are in equal measures tedious and/or enlightening. ( )
  Tanya-dogearedcopy | Feb 13, 2022 |
Thoroughly depressing. If this is Victorian literature, I'll pass. ( )
  et.carole | Jan 21, 2022 |
It was subtitled A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented because Hardy felt that its heroine was a virtuous victim of a rigid Victorian moral code. Now considered Hardy’s masterwork, it departed from conventional Victorian fiction in its focus on the rural lower class and in its open treatment of sexuality and religion.

Tess of the D’Urbervilles is as famous for its heroine as for its notoriously tragic plot. Originally shunned by critics upon its publication in 1891 because of “immorality,” the novel traces the difficult life of Tess Durbeyfield, whose victimization at the hands of men eventually leads to her horrific downfall. Tess spares the reader none of the bitterness inherent in English country life, and Hardy’s often romanticized love for the landscape of Wessex is balanced by the novel’s grimly realistic depiction of social injustice.

When Tess’s father discovers that his own family, the Durbeyfields, are related to a prominent local dynasty, he agrees that his daughter should contact the heir, Alec D’Urberville, with tragic results. He seduces her, and soon abandons her, leaving her an unmarried single mother. While she briefly finds happiness with another man, the seemingly upright Angel Clare, he too rejects her upon hearing of her sexual past, leaving her in poverty and misery. Forced back into the arms of Alec, Tess must sacrifice her personal happiness for economic survival, but when her feelings of injustice overwhelm her in a moment of passion, the consequences are tragic.

In Tess, Hardy presents a world in which the human spirit is battered down by the forces, not of fate, but of social hierarchy. ( )
  Marcos_Augusto | Jan 20, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 222 (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 (113 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hardy, Thomasprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alvarez, A.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bentinck, AnnaNarratorsecondary 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
Reddick, PeterIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sandys, ElspethIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Skilton, DavidEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stubbs, ImogenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thorne, StephenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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'...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)].
First words
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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Wikipedia in English (5)

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.

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Book description
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

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West Margin Press

An edition of this book was published by West Margin Press.

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