Tess of the d'Urbervilles

  • by Thomas Hardy
  • Narrated by Davina Porter
  • 17 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Tess Durbeyfield, a peasant girl and cast-off descendant of English aristocracy, has become one of the most famous female protagonists in 19th-century British literature. Betrayed by the two men in her life - Alec D’Urberville, her seducer/rapist and father of her fated child; and Angel, her intellectual and pious husband - Tess takes justice, and her own destiny, into her delicate hands. In telling her desperate and passionate story, Hardy brings Tess to life with an extraordinary vividness that makes her live in the heart of the reader long after the novel is concluded.


Audible Editor Reviews

Thomas Hardy's exquisite story stars one of the most famous female protagonists in English literature. With natural intonation, Davina Porter's artistic voice sweeps listeners into the charm of the English countryside and into the life of this extraordinary character. Thomas Hardy would enjoy this rendition of his Tess, the pure and simple peasant girl, the beauty, the child, the woman. We are provoked by the society that binds her with social and gender constraints. And even when she rightfully defies the men who betray her, atonement is not at hand. This memorable character will stay with listeners long after this vivid rendition of the novel ends.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Davina Porter makes this lovely book even better

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Naturally the writing style was a bit old fashioned for my taste but the subject matter and innuendos were surprisingly riske and modern. I'd like to complain about the tragic ending but in all honesty I can't. It was refreshing to read a novel that was realistic and believable. Overall the writing style was what I expected and the story was beautiful. You'll be writing down quotes as you go.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

It was very interesting to get an accurate interpretation of what life was like for a woman like Tess. I find that as a woman I take for granted what would have saved her from such misery. If you're in the mood to appreciate the small things there is no part of this book that isn't interesting.

Which character – as performed by Davina Porter – was your favorite?

Naturally, Tess. She's no Clair Frasier but Davina always brings a story to life.

Do you think Tess of the d’Urbervilles needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Tad late for that.

Any additional comments?

I would definitely recommend this book. Don't expect a rock your socks romance but Tess will stay in the back of your mind long after you finish.

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- Rebecca


What made the experience of listening to Tess of the d’Urbervilles the most enjoyable?

I love the narrator's voice. Since this story was written so long ago, it described the life and times of the people, politics, religion, etc. I love the "history" of it. I could picture the countryside, feel grateful that I never had to suffer the deprivation that was so common back then, could feel the fabrics, and taste the food.....

What about Davina Porter’s performance did you like?

To me, Davina Porter is a famous narrator. I am used to, and love the sound of, her voice. Her inflections of the dialog were spot on.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

One of the scenes that struck me was the description of the work performed by hand in the turnip fields; the extreme physicality of it, braving the elements, and subsisting on next to no food...

Any additional comments?

The authors of those times have an excellent command of vocabulary and phrasing, setting the scenes and transitioning into the next scene. Very articulate and descriptive...

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- Fran

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-08-2011
  • Publisher: Recorded Books