Thomas Hardy, never one to be conventional, took a very unconventional moral stance in this novel, which shocked Victorian readers. In doing so, he created one of the great romantic novels of all time, the story of a striking and tragic character who came to life for the reader as she did for the author: "I have not been able to put on paper all that she is or was, to me," Hardy wrote. With this work, he not only produced a harrowing novel of seduction and abandonment, he also created his most memorable heroine.More
A novel that caused an outrage in Victorian society when it was first published, Tess of the D'Urbervilles condemns hypocritical social mores as unjust and cruel, especially to women. Simple country girl Tess Durbeyfield is victimized not just by a false kinsman, who rapes and impregnates her, but also by the double standards of society, which cause her to be abandoned and rejected even by the man she loves. Narrator Jill Masters gives a fluid performance, using her refined voice to express Tess' despair with great sympathy and realism. Masters handles Tess' fate with delicacy, never wallowing in pathos, and takes the story to its tragic end with solemn grace.
"Tess of the D'Urbervilles is generally regarded as Hardy's finest novel. A brilliant tale of seduction, love, betrayal, and murder, Tess of the D'Ubervilles yields to narrative convention by punishing Tess's sin, but boldly exposes this standard denouement of unforgiving morality as cruelly unjust. Throughout, Hardy's most lyrical and atmospheric language frames his shattering narrative." (The Literature Network)
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excellent novel and reading
Clearly one of the Great Books and very well read.