Tess of the d'Urbervilles cover

Tess of the d'Urbervilles

Thomas Hardy

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1. Chapter 01
2. Chapter 02
3. Chapter 03
4. Chapter 04
5. Chapter 05
6. Chapter 06
7. Chapter 07
8. Chapter 08
9. Chapter 09
10. Chapter 10
11. Chapter 11
12. Chapter 12
13. Chapter 13
14. Chapter 14
15. Chapter 15
16. Chapter 16
17. Chapter 17
18. Chapter 18
19. Chapter 19
20. Chapter 20
21. Chapter 21
22. Chapter 22
23. Chapter 23
24. Chapter 24
25. Chapter 25
26. Chapter 26
27. Chapter 27
28. Chapter 28
29. Chapter 29
30. Chapter 30
31. Chapter 31
32. Chapter 32
33. Chapter 33
34. Chapter 34
35. Chapter 35
36. Chapter 36
37. Chapter 37
38. Chapter 38
39. Chapter 39
40. Chapter 40
41. Chapter 41
42. Chapter 42
43. Chapter 43
44. Chapter 44
45. Chapter 45
46. Chapter 46
47. Chapter 47
48. Chapter 48
49. Chapter 49
50. Chapter 50
51. Chapter 51
52. Chapter 52
53. Chapter 53 – Chapter 54
54. Chapter 55 – Chapter 56
55. Chapter 57
56. Chapter 58 – Chapter 59

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Genres

Summary

Her father compels her to visit the biggest mansion in the village to “claim kin” with the aristocratic d'Urberville family. She falls prey to the debauched son of the house and returns home to give birth in secret to an illegitimate baby who lives only for a few days. Determined to put her past behind her, she goes to work as a milkmaid in a faraway country farmhouse where she falls in love with a good and kind young man. Her conscience troubles her and she confesses the truth about herself in a letter which her beloved never receives. Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy is the quintessential cliff hanger. Incidentally, Hardy is the author with whom this term actually originated. In one of his books, A Pair of Blue Eyes, he had his hero literally hanging from a cliff face, giving rise to the term in Victorian literature. Many great works of literature in this period were serialized in magazines of the day and depended on such devices to keep the reader interested and engaged enough to read the next installment! Nevertheless, Hardy's compassion, love of nature, his romantic idealism and wonderful style make Tess of the d'Urbervilles a great read for all ages. The story of a woman doomed by circumstances to humiliation, poverty and despair, but attempts to emerge from these by sheer dint of will does indeed make compelling reading. The concept of universal justice which does not take individual situations into account is another major theme in this book. For Tess, the heroine, who is constantly judged and condemned by society, though she is completely innocent, justice is a blind and cruel fate. Tess of the d'Urbervilles presents a very interesting picture of Victorian England at the time of great social and economic change. Tess's father's ill-conceived and foolish delusion that his family is descended from nobility leads him to push his daughter into disaster. Hardy also presents several moral dilemmas in the book—the conventional ideas of love, marriage, family and security are explored and found wanting as more modern ideas begin to emerge in the new age of industrialism. The contrast between the “pure” and unspoiled countryside and the “wicked” and tainted cities is constantly presented. Heavily censored and censured when it was first published in 1891, modern day readers of today will find much that is relevant, apart from its being a good, satisfying read in the best traditions of story telling.

Reviews

Kas Sommers

- Thomas Hardy kills me

Somehow I've missed this book in all the Thomas Hardy I've read. The story contained many surprises, especially in the last few chapters, and the reader did a good job.

Jen

Very excellent reader!

Sanjay

Oh, wow.. so well read..

Beautiful book, excellently read.