Set in the magical Wessex landscape so familiar from Thomas Hardy’s early work, Tess of the D’Urbervilles is unique among his great novels for the intense feeling that he lavished upon his heroine, Tess, a pure woman betrayed by love.
Hardy poured all of his profound empathy for both humanity and the rhythms of natural life into this story of her beauty, goodness, and tragic fate. In so doing, he created a character who, like Emma Bovary and Anna Karenina, has achieved classic stature.
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About the Author
Thomas Hardy was born in 1840 in Higher Bockhampton (Upper Bockhampton in his day), a hamlet in the parish of Stinsford to the east of Dorchester in Dorset, England, where his father Thomas (1811-1892) worked as a stonemason and local builder.
“[Tess of the D’Urbervilles is] Hardy’s finest, most complex and most notorious novel . . . The novel is not a mere plea for compassion for the eternal victim, though that is the banner it flies. It also involves a profound questioning of contemporary morality.” –from the Introduction by Patricia Ingham