Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Tess of the D'Urbervilles

A Pure Woman

Book - 2001
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The story of a simple country girl whose family's pretentions lead to her destruction.
Publisher: New York : Modern Library, [2001]
Edition: Modern Library paperback edition.
ISBN: 9780375756795
Branch Call Number: F HARDY
Characteristics: xxi, 514 pages : map ; 21 cm.


From Library Staff

Tess Durbeyfield is driven by family poverty to claim kinship with the wealthy D'Urbevilles, and meeting her "cousin" Alec proves to be her downfall. When Angel Clare offers her love and salvation, she must choose whether to reveal her past or remain silent in the hope of a peaceful fut... Read More »

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Apr 30, 2019

A very good novel, with a difficult to pin down main character, many descriptive passages of a meditative sort, brief essay-istic insights, and the result is a work that rereading will be more edifying and enjoyable, give much to ponder, and, if one is given to discussion, much controversy suitable circumscribed so as to allow both reason and entertainment of ideas to be employed without straying to far afield.

Aug 29, 2017

One of the great novels of the 19th century. Tells the story of Tess Darbeyfield, who is distantly related to the ancient d'Urberville clan, and how she finds love with a distant relation; only to have that romance shattered when a devastating secret is revealed and she spends the rest of her life trying to win her love back - with tragic results. The book is a pretty damning indictment of the "double standard" that still pervades our age but was overwhelming during the Victorian age. Should be on everyone's bucket list of books to read - it was hard to put down.

Dec 21, 2016

A classic, beautifully written novel. The characters were complex and the twist at the end made the book even more interesting. Not a typical romance novel, but filled with passion, secrets, and hardships along the way. Recommend to supplement the reading with a movie adaptation.

Jul 28, 2015

I do not enjoy the book as much as I would love to. It is not a page turning sort of book but it can't be put down either. It is not a feel good book but a real classic. The characters are both good and flaw as in real life and very believable. I was mad towards the end of how things turn out but I know most of Thomas Hardy's books have a tragic ending.

Jan 26, 2015

“Tess of the d’Urbervilles” follows the unfortunate life of Tess Durberyfield, a girl who lives in rural Victorian England. When the novel begins, Tess is a young teenager living with her family. One morning her mother sends her out on an errand. Tess’s subsequent actions result in the accidental death of the family horse. After this event Tess’s life takes an extreme turn for the worst. The novel follows Tess as she strongly carries on through life despite multiple setbacks that would make anyone else sit down and cry.

This novel is absolutely spectacular.
“Tess of the d’Urbervilles” is easy to follow, and has loveable characters. Tess is a strong, free-thinking woman whose bravery and persistence will inspire any reader. The other characters of the novel are memorable, and it is refreshing to see a villain who revels in being villainous, and who is ‘evil’ simply because he wants to be. The plot is lengthy but interesting, and it moves at a constant, enjoyable pace. It also spans many years, giving readers a feel that they are ‘in it to win it’ with Tess. The setting is unique and rich with symbolism that helps to bring the story alive. This novel can be described as a coming of age Victorian novel.

Overall, the author of this review would highly recommend “Tess of the d’Urbervilles”. It is a good read, and due to its excessive amount of symbolism and hidden meanings, it would be a perfect novel for an essay or ‘book talk’. The author of this review believes “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” to be suitable for ages fourteen and up.

Jun 28, 2013

This has been on my list for years because it's referenced in Jane Austen's work. Not my favorite, but glad I've read it once.

Sep 28, 2012

This story takes places in the late 1800s in made-up area of England, where you meet Tess who resembles natural beauty. She is the eldest in her family, with roots on her father to royalty that does not exist any longer. Her family works on the farms and due to the time where the Long Depression occurs whereby she accidently kills the family's horse.

She is then asked by her mother to seek out this long lost cousin, Alec to assist her/her family in their need as the horse was income to their family. A major faux-pas occurs between them and she relocates back home in Marlott.

Later, she goes outside her home to work and meets up with Angel. Over time, she falls for him, but is resistant to tell him her past. He woos her and she finally accepts his marriage proposal, only to have him travel abroad and despise Tess for her past.

While her husband is away, many things occur and he finally shows up again only to see that she is with her previous lover. Will he be able to forgive her? What will Tess do? How is this all possible?

Overall, I found the story long-winded. Didn;t like Tess, Alec or Angel or any other characters. But Hardy puts forth a double standard in their culture/social heirarchy as it is still today. It was an OK read.

Apr 19, 2011

I just love the detail of every sentence! I read this ages ago and am starting to re-read the classics with fresh eyes. This story is so sad and so tense (I just want to punch Angel Clare in the face!)

Nov 05, 2010

Thomas is a hard read but well worth it. A classic wordsmith . A must read.

Apr 22, 2010

I started this book a couple days ago. I haven't had much luck with enjoying classics but this one is a great book, even for the male reader that I am. Definitely recommended.

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FavouriteFiction Sep 30, 2009

A naïve farm girl is betrayed by an aristocrat and finds herself in an unhappy marriage


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