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Tess of the d’Urbervilles is a novel by Thomas Hardy that was first serialised in The Graphic newspaper in 1891, and in book form in 1892. When it first appeared, it was in a censored version due to the way it challenged the sexual morals of Queen Victoria's England. The book is set in Wessex (Hardy's fictional area of South and Southwest England) and the story revolves around Tess, a 16-year old girl, and daughter of John and Joan Durbeyfield. Living in a rural area, the family is not in very good financial condition. John Durbeyfield finds out that he is the blood descendant of the ancient noble family, the d’Urbervilles. On the same day, Tess participates in the May Day dance, where she first sees Angel Clare, a young man, and son of Reverend James Clare. The plot begins when Mr. and Mrs. Durbeyfield decide to send Tess to the d’Urberville mansion so she can claim kin. The story revolves around Tess's bad experiences with Alec d'Urberville and his attempts to seduce her, and then her meeting with Angel Clare, the boy from the May Day dance, and her subsequent marriage with him. After the marriage, both tell each other about their past, but although Tess forgives him, Clare doesn't. The story progresses with the death of Tess's father and the return of Angel, but ends in tragedy as Tess is forced to come to terms with her past once more.
№ 21 in Goodreads 100 Best Nineteenth-Century British and Irish Novels.
№ 51 in The BBC's 100 Greatest British Novels.
Part of Anne Haight's List of Banned Books.
This book has 151,170 words, 287 pages in the PDF version, and was originally published in 1892.
Production notes: This ebook of Tess of the d’Urbervilles was published by Global Grey in 2021, and updated on the 24th November 2023. The artwork used for the cover is 'Moorland landscape' by Archibald Thorburn.
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