Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Hardy, Thomas

Book - 1991
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Tess of the D'Urbervilles
Random House, Inc.

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.

(Book Jacket Status: Not Jacketed)

Baker & Taylor
The story of a simple country girl whose family's pretentions lead to her destruction

Publisher: New York : Knopf, c1991
ISBN: 0679405860
Characteristics: xlviii, 472 p. : map ; 22 cm


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October 9th meeting

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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
  • vwruleschick rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

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!)

Feb 24, 2011
  • dragonsnakes rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

One of the best authors of classic literature

Nov 05, 2010
  • shadowcat1234 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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

May 11, 2010
  • meaganpeters4 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Very different book. A very different kind of 19th centruy love story but entertaining all the same!

Apr 22, 2010
  • Zentjo10 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

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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Sep 30, 2009

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


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