September 1, 1998
Wordsworth Military Library
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 1853260053
ISBN - 13: 9781853260056
About the Book
Set in Hardy's Wessex, Tess is a moving novel of hypocrisy and double standards. Its challenging sub-title, A Pure Woman, infuriated critics when the book was first published in 1891, and it was condemned as immoral and pessimistic.
From the Publisher
Introduction and Notes by Michael Irwin, Professor of English Literature,
University of Kent at CanterburySet in Hardy's Wessex, Tess is a moving
novel of hypocrisy and double standards. Its challenging sub-title, A Pure
Woman, infuriated critics when the book was first published in 1891, and
it was condemned as immoral and pessimistic.It tells of Tess Durbeyfield,
the daughter of a poor and dissipated villager, who learns that she may be
descended from the ancient family of d'Urbeville. In her search for
respectability her fortunes fluctuate wildly, and the story assumes the
proportions of a Greek tragedy. It explores Tess's relationships with two
very different men, her struggle against the social mores of the rural
Victorian world which she inhabits and the hypocrisy of the age.
About the Author
Thomas Hardy was born on June 2, 1840, in Higher Bockhampton, England. The eldest child of Thomas and Jemima, Hardy studied Latin, French, and architecture in school. He also became an avid reader. Upon graduation, Hardy traveled to London to work as an architect's assistant under the guidance of Arthur Bloomfield. He also began writing poetry. How I Built Myself a House, Hardy's first professional article, was published in 1865. Two years later, while still working in the architecture field, Hardy wrote the unpublished novel The Poor Man and the Lady. During the next five years, Hardy wrote Desperate Remedies, Under the Greenwood Tree, and a Pair of Blue Eyes. In 1873, Hardy decided it was time to relinquish his architecture career and concentrate on writing full-time. In September 1974, his first book as a full-time author, Far From the Madding Crowd, appeared serially. After publishing more than two dozen novels, one of the last being Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Hardy returned to writing poetry--his first love. Some of Hardy's volumes of poetry include Poems of the Past and Present, The Dynasts: Part One, Two, and Three, Time's Laughingstocks, and The Famous Tragedy of the Queen of Cornwall. From 1833 until his death, Hardy lived in a house in Dorchester, England. The house, Max Gate, was designed by Hardy, who also supervised its' construction. Thomas Hardy died on January 11, 1928. His ashes were buried in Poet's Corner at Westminster Abbey.
From Our Editors
It is easy to see in hindsight how the wildly challenging Tess of the d’Urbervilles created a furor; Thomas Hardy’s second-to-last major novel not only questioned Victorian morality, but condemned it. The tale of the immortal Tess Durbeyfield, her journey to knowledge and respectability and encounters with her age’s restrictions and hypocrisy is a timeless social critique.