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Tess of the D'Urbervilles Paperback – March 15, 2012

10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1619492721 ISBN-10: 1619492725

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 410 pages
  • Publisher: E-M Press (March 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1619492725
  • ISBN-13: 978-1619492721
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #486,348 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Jiang Xueqin on May 18, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Tess of the D'Urbervilles" is Thomas Hardy's most famous protagonist and one of literature's most tragic heroines. At first, she reminded me very much of Ibsen's Nora, but as the book came to a close I came to realize that Tess is far more emotionally complex than Nora: much moodier, much prouder, much more romantic, and ultimately much more tragic.

The story is pretty well-known to most people. Tess is a young beautiful maiden who has a lazy drunk for a father and a manipulative opportunist as a mother. At a young tender and naive age she is essentially raped by her well-to-do cousin, and it's a stigma that haunts her in the small-minded provincial town where she lives. She soon meets the man of her dreams, a clergyman's romantic son who finds a kindred soul in Tess, and while Tess does her best to maintain her distance eventually she gives way to her passion, and marries Angel Clare. Though she has lost her virginity to another man Tess remains pure and free, and against the warnings of her mother she forces herself to tell her new husband of her past. And because her husband is very young, very proud, and ultimately constricted and contained by the conservative pettiness of the people around him he decides to flee from Tess. And this sets the stage for Tess's ultimate downfall.

The themes and plot of this novel have been copied copiously in Western culture, but what makes this novel such a masterpiece is the emotional force and beauty of Tess's characters, and it would be almost impossible for anyone else to replicate the sincere sympathy Hardy has for his most famous heroine. Literary critics can always point to the depth in meaning and symbolism of the novel -- the themes of innocence, spirituality, and romantic passion course wildly throughout the novel -- but it's Tess's sense and pursuit of love, her utter and pure and completion to the man she loves, that will continue to move readers for centuries to come.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Rogerzilla on February 13, 2013
Format: Paperback
Hardy cleverly divides this novel into "phases", like those of the moon, and each has its own atmosphere within the greater plot. It's a novel about the destruction of innocence with two of the most complex male characters in fiction; Alec, who seems like the archetypal pantomime villain but never abandons Tess, and Angel, the bad harp player who appears to be a perfect lover but who turns out to be a hypocrite of the highest order. The famous Stonehenge scene at the end is almost poetry, which is the way Hardy was heading in his career. It's impossible not to empathise with Tess, whom Hardy calls "a pure woman" in the part-title.
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Format: Paperback
This is a sad tale of a beautiful peasant girl partly educated (by the standards of her day)and the devastation caused by three men in her life.
The first man,her father is a good for nothing drunk-who does nothing more than begat children.

The second fellow seduces her when she is sent,a young naive innocent girl,to work at his mother's mansion,as a poultry manager.At least he has the decency to own to his guilt,and also to financially help her.He even offers to marry her
-but she will have none of him.

The third fellow (in my humble opinion) is the worst of the lot,a man she has the misfortune to "love" and marry.This fellow is a coward,who "confesses" to his past misconduct,AFTER marriage -but is forgiven immediately and generously.In her turn,she relates her misfortune of being raped earlier and asks for forgiveness(even before the wedding she tries many times to tell him of her past).What does he do ? He quietly withdraws away from her life,leaving her without any proper notion of the future.(His explanation "you are NOT the
woman I married !"He even concedes that she has not sinned but has been sinned against,but still cannot "forgive" her)!
Tess leads a wretched life -and dies in the end.The most sickening part is her husband is "rewarded" with a "purer" version of Tess -Tess' "untainted" own younger sister-all with Tess's blessings and exhortation !
This sheer hypocrisy and double standards are very much prevalent even today.There are many Tesses suffering even today due to societal and male savagery.Sickening.It is a very realistic novel valid even today.
Hardy's writing takes some getting used to.Great descriptions of farm life,one realises the lot of the landless...a great read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Loved it when I was sixteen. Just reread and it has lost nothing for me in all the years between. No one writes books like this anymore or characters like Tess. The writing is truly beautiful, a joy in itself, and the story perfectly crafted. Thomas Hardy was a master story-teller, and his works deserve the esteem they've garnered for well over one hundred plus years.

Like Dickens, most of his work was serialized in magazines, but unlike Dickens, Hardy focused on rural settings and the country folks who endured travails that wrench the heart and illicit sympathy for the characters. He draws you into their lives, and you are a voyeur on one fascinating journey after another.

I've read most of Thomas Hardy's novels, but Tess remains my favorite. If you haven't read anything by Hardy, do yourself a favor and start now.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book couple of months back, at that point of my life I was a little bit blue. Thomas Hardy painted the pastoral life and the ups and downs of Tess's life with so much affection. I did not feel Tess was a character, to me she was a person, that I could relate with. She is vulnerable but brave, hard working but so tender...its a universal portrayal of a women...I could understand her inner complexities with her lover...I think most women go through that feeling of guilt and love...I understand Hardy was trying to change views towards women and virginity at that time, but the end was really sad and tragic...
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