Author(s): Thomas Hardy
The ne'er-do-well sire of a starving brood suddenly discovers a family connection to the aristocracy, and his selfish scheme to capitalize on their wealth sets a fateful plot in motion. Jack Durbeyfield dispatches his gentle daughter Tess to the home of their noble kin, anticipating a lucrative match between the lovely girl and a titled cousin. Innocent Tess finds the path of the d'Urberville estate paved with ruin in this gripping tale of the inevitability of fate and the tragic nature of existence.
Subtitled A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented, Thomas Hardy's sympathetic portrait of a blameless young woman's destruction first appeared in 1891. Its powerful indictment of Victorian hypocrisy, along with its unconventional focus on the rural lower class and its direct treatment of sexuality and religion, raised a ferocious public outcry.
Tess of the D'Ubervilles is Hardy's penultimate novel; the pressures of critical infamy shortly afterward drove the author to abandon the genre in favor of poetry. Like his fictional heroine, the artist fell victim to a rigidly oppressive moral code.
Today, Tess is regarded as Hardy's masterpiece, embodying all of the most profoundly moving elements of its creator's dark vision.
Part of our new collection of Young Adult Classics, Tess of the d'Urbevilles, is a classic story of sweeping romance, tragedy and adventure.
Thomas Hardy was born in Dorset in 1840. He was one of the most renowned poets and novelists in English literary history. Hardy wrote fourteen novels, three volumes of short stories, and several poems between the years 1871 and 1897, including his greatest novels Jude the Obscure and Tess of the D'Urbevilles. These received negative reviews at the time, but have become true classics.