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Tess of the d'Urbervilles (1891)

by Thomas Hardy

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
16,560221233 (3.81)624
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. 31
    Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (roby72)
  7. 20
    The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James (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. 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
    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.
  11. 12
    Villette by Charlotte Brontë (allenmichie)
  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 (23)
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» See also 624 mentions

English (212)  French (4)  Italian (2)  Dutch (1)  Bulgarian (1)  German (1)  All languages (221)
Showing 1-5 of 212 (next | show all)
Hardy is such a talent that though we know any tale of his is likely to be grim, we cannot but help gobbling it up. I have spent years telling myself that I'm not doing exactly this simply because I'm not reading the most dire, namely "Jude the Obscure". I'm simply trailing around the drain as I slowly begin to read of the more unfortunate souls. "They are not Jude!" I strenuously remind myself. Ah, yes. They are, however, giving him a run for his money.

Tess is a character to love, despite all you fear from Hardy in his abuse of her. I was drawn to her and that will, naturally, lead to nothing but dashed hopes. I kept reminding myself loudly "this is Hardy! Don't imagine for a second that this is Laura Ingals Wilder!" Good advice, if it's bothered to be taken.

Reading Hardy and expecting that everything will turn out all right is like watching Winslet and DiCaprio in "Titanic" and expecting that the boat comes to harbor with only very smutty graffiti on its hull. This book is enjoyable nonetheless. Which worries me. Jude cannot be far behind. ( )
  ednasilrak | Jun 17, 2021 |
I've seen a few adaptions but I finally sat down and read the actual book and it is amazing. I've been reading a bunch of Hardy lately and I am so struck by how well he writes women characters. They have so much agency, even though they are imbeded in the system that was already past in the time Hardy was writing. It was a hard read, knowing that it was just getting worse and worse for Tess no matter what. But of all the men who mess her over, I think I am most angry about her useless father. If he could possibly act like a reasonably responsible adult even a small percentage of the time, the compounding tragedies would have no starting point. What a brilliant book.
  amyem58 | Jun 7, 2021 |
This was a slow-moving novel about "a pure woman", Thomas Hardy's (1840-1928) original subtitle for "Tess of the D'Urbervilles". While Tess did a lot during her short life, there was a lot of detailed description of the land, more than action, which I found a little tedious. It was easy to like Tess, a simple English country girl; but not so easy to like the men in the novel. They seemed cruel to their women. Altogether a good novel, and perhaps Hardy's best known, it is worth reading, but prepare to be patient. ( )
  Jimbookbuff1963 | Jun 5, 2021 |
Young woman taken advantage of, too common to count as tragedy
  ritaer | Jun 4, 2021 |
I am still sad thinking about the pivotal scene. A pox on double standards! How heartbreakingly did I feel Tess's trust and betrayal! It is for the emotional pitch that Hardy captured and I reached that I gave this book its four stars.

Tess's work ethic and her ability to do backbreaking and monotonous labor is left without much comment but is one of the things that I was left to think about after I finished- what does it mean? Is it penance? Is it a mark of her moral superiority? Heterodoxy? Religion? Or is her stark independence, won through mud and dust, a rallying cry to women everywhere: one must not be beholden to a male provider? Food for thought, for sure.

Travel also plays a significant role in this novel. Tess is often alone, traveling through the dark countryside. Another gesture to finding independence for yourself, especially as a young woman? More food for thought.

Hardy uses a lot of crazy vocabulary words to describe landscapes. Why? What was he thinking? Anyway, I broke out the dictionary a bunch of times and learned insane words for describing arable land. ( )
  Raechill | May 4, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 212 (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
Hardy, Thomasprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
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
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

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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West Margin Press

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

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