Tess of the d'Urbervilles
By Thomas Hardy
(Vintage Classics, Paperback, 9780099511625, 288pp.)
Publication Date: March 4, 2008
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Tess is an innocent young girl until the day she goes to visit her rich “relatives,” the D’Urbervilles, in the hope that they might help her alleviate her own family’s poverty. Her encounter with her manipulative cousin, Alec, leads to suffering and betrayal. When she falls in love with another man, Angel Clare, Tess sees a potential escape from her past, but only if she can tell him her shameful secret…
Thomas Hardy was born on June 2, 1840. By his death in 1928, he had written numerous novels, short stories and poems including Under the Greenwood Tree; Far From the Madding Crowd; The Mayor of Casterbridge; The Woodlanders and Jude the Obscure, his final novel, all of which have been adapted to TV and film.
- The title of Hardy's novel describes Tess as "a pure woman." Does Tess, in fact, remain pure? In what respects? Why does Hardy highlight this quality in his title?