Tess of the DUrbervilles (Vintage Hardy)

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Thomas Hardy's willingness to challenge contemporary views of sexual morality and marriage made many of his novels super-controversial when they first appeared. Tess of the D'Urbervilles was no exception. Pearl-clutching abounded. People probably literally swooned.

But get a load of how messed-up Victorian ideals were—it wasn't Hardy's willingness to describe the rape, but his defiant insistence that Tess herself remains pure in spite of it, that made the novel controversial. Tess was first published in , but Hardy had been working on it in some form or other since about The manuscript went through a lot of different versions, and the controversial bits made it difficult for him to find a publisher.

The publishers who rejected the novel put it more or less bluntly, the consensus was basically that Tess both the character and the novel was too sexy to be put in print. The sexiness made it immoral in their eyes. But after it first appeared as a serialized novel, Hardy was given the opportunity to publish Tess in book form. In the book version, he added the subtitle "A Pure Woman" , defiantly defending the purity of the heroine in spite of her rape.

Can we have a standing ovation for Mr.

Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Hardy, please? We've come a long way since the Victorian Era. And thank goodness. We're rid of corsets and top hats. We're rid of gloves. Waltzing is no longer scandalous. Our Valentine's Day cards are significantly less creepy. Emma died in and Hardy married his second wife, Florence, in Thomas Hardy died on 11 January Her first novel, Fugitive Pieces , was published in to worldwide critical acclaim.

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Anne Michaels has also composed music for the theatre. The Winter Vault was published in Born in , Anne Michaels lives in Toronto. You just went from disaster to disaster without realising that most men of your time were pigs. You just trudged through muck, and then went looking for more afterwards. I understand that the problems you faced were real.

Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy - rare first edition | Rare and Antique Books

You came across real injustice, Tess. What Alec did to you was pure evil. What Angel did you was nothing short of neglect. One rule for men and another for women, eh Tess.

You really experienced misogyny and injustice. I know, and I feel sorry for you, but Tess you were just so unbelievably weak. Why did you go running back to Angel after what he did to you? He clearly didn't love you. Why did you wait for him for so long and just accept the negligence that he subjected you to. How could you let yourself down like that? You should have gone on your own and become your own woman; you should have become empowered rather than crawling back to the bastards that mistreated you.

Your actions made no sense.


Your emotions and love changed with the wind. Rather than make you hopeless, he should have had you learn from the evils of the world, and become a woman who knew how to deal with it. Why Stonehenge? Why did you run there of all places. Why not go to the train station?

Why did you let yourself be led along by that prat Angel Clare one more time? Ahh…Tess, why did you waste your life?

Your most tragic mistake Tess, and your doom, was not realising what was inside you. Yours sincerely, A very dissatisfied reader.


Tess Of The D Urbervilles Vintage Classics! 12222

View all 38 comments. Aug 31, Cori rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: lovers of classic literature. From my blog: This book was fantastic. It was bleak and heartbreaking, but fantastic. I'm not sure I've ever been so sad for a main character before. But wow, Hardy can write. Tess Durbeyfield, a poor girl, finds out she's actually the descendant of the once-mighty D'Urbervilles. She goes in search of work at her relatives' home, and meets Alec D'Urberville no actual relation -- he stole the name , From my blog: This book was fantastic.

She goes in search of work at her relatives' home, and meets Alec D'Urberville no actual relation -- he stole the name , who seduces her and rapes her in the forest.

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Tess leaves the D'Urberville estate to be with her family again, and winds up pregnant. The baby is born but quickly succumbs to death. Tess, who thinks her rape and death of her child are her own fault, moves away to work at a dairy. There, she meets Angel Clare a kind man from a good family and the two fall in love. Tess refuses his requests for an engagement, saying she's not worth him and her past would make him not love her.

Tess of the D'urbervilles by Thomas Hardy - Role of Fate - Bengali Lecture - PRC Foundation

He pleads with her and tells her it's not the case. Finally, she agrees and the two are wed. That night, they tell each other their deepest, darkest secrets. Angel admits to two drunken nights of debauchery, which Tess forgives him for, and Tess tells him the story about Alec and the child.

Angel decides Tess's sins are too great and leaves to Brazil to clear his head. Tess then embarks upon a long journey of trying to pay penance for her sins by doing difficult manual labor. Her letters to Angel go unanswered, but she still blames herself. When she finally hits rock bottom, she goes to appeal to Angel's family for money, although her pride never lets her go through with her plan. On her way home, she meets a street preacher, who is none other than a reformed Alec D'Urberville, although it's pretty apparent that his faith is transparent.

Tess tells him that she had had a child and it died, and Alec proceeds to follow her around and asks her to marry him repeatedly, saying he's her true husband because he raped her they had consumated their love. Finally, she gives in because she hasn't heard from Angel bastard and her family is in dire straits and is living in a graveyard.

Alec supports her and her family. Angel finally realizes that Tess was not responsible for her sins and decides to come back for her, only to learn she's living with Alec. Tess is so distraught knowing that Angel finally came back for her she never stopped loving him and blaming herself , that she kills Alec go Tess! Tess is finally apprehended at Stonehenge, and is soon put to death. That's one depressing story. As a woman who lives in , I had a hard time feeling for Tess when I just wanted to scream, "it's not your fault he raped you!

Men at least in this book are bastards!

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You're worth more than them! It was all her fault and she was paying for her sins. The book was so bleak when it was bleak, and so lovely the few times it was lovely. Hardy's writing was very evocative, and the subject matter was apparently scandalous in his day. His descriptions of England were amazing, too.