Tess of the d'Urbervilles / Edition 1

Tess of the d'Urbervilles / Edition 1

3.9 69
by Thomas Hardy

ISBN-10: 0618333460

ISBN-13: 9780618333462

Pub. Date: 08/16/2004

Publisher: Cengage Learning

Introduction by Patricia Ingham  See more details below


Introduction by Patricia Ingham

Product Details

Cengage Learning
Publication date:
New Riverside Editions Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Product dimensions:
5.58(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.81(d)

Table of Contents

About the Series
About This Volume
Pt. 1Tess of the d'Urbervilles: The Complete Text
The Complete Text19
Pt. 2Tess of the d'Urbervilles: A Case Study in Contemporary Criticism
A Critical History of Tess of the d'Urbervilles387
The New Historicism and Tess of the d'Urbervilles405
Tess of the d'Urbervilles: Hardey's Anthropology of the Novel422
Feminist and Gender Criticism and Tess of the d'Urbervilles441
Tess and the Subject of Sexual Violence: Reading, Rape, Seduction462
Deconstruction and Tess of the d'Urbervilles484
Echoic Language, Uncertainty, and Freedom in Tess of the d'Urbervilles506
Reader-Response Criticism and Tess of the d'Urbervilles521
"Driven Well Home to the Reader's Heart": Tess's Implicated Audience537
Cultural Criticism and Tess of the d'Urbervilles552
The Same and the Different: Standards and Standardization in Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles571
Glossary of Critical and Theoretical Terms591
About the Contributors605

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Tess of the d'Urbervilles 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 69 reviews.
theokester More than 1 year ago
Tess is one of the more depressive novels I've read lately. My wife will attest to the fact that I have a strange affinity to depressing stories. With that in mind, let me say that I really enjoyed this book. The writing was at times a bit too much for me for the reason that I get annoyed at many 18th and 19th century novels...namely, that Hardy focuses far too much on minute descriptions and in-depth analysis of setting and location. Don't get me wrong, I love a vivid and lush environment and I much prefer a fleshed out character to a flat one. I just sometimes feel that all of the flowery descriptions slow down the story telling element too much. There were a few paragraphs/pages that I tried to skim through in order to get to the next relevant points of plot. Still, I don't know that I'd want to edit out the descriptive text since it does comment on the narrative itself in a metafictional sort of way. The main characters in this book are wonderfully composed. They are absolutely and completely frustrating but they are superbly crafted nonetheless. I wanted to smack each of the main characters on many occasions. Tess is far too willing to simply be acted upon and then to bemoan her fate. Alec is an absolute pig (although towards the end of our experience with him, it's debatable just how awful he truly is). And Angel is far too inconsistent to be liked at all...at first he seems almost lovable...then he deserves to be hated...then he seems slightly adequate...then he becomes repulsive again...he's just far too wishy-washy in his behavior and ideals to ever be fully redeemable. The story itself falls into the realm of realism taken to its extreme. The plot elements felt almost like the Bible story of Job...whatever could go wrong willgo wrong. And even though Tess was generally found to be almost whining about her circumstances rather than trying to make things better for herself, the story was still rather thought provoking since it makes you wonder just how you would handle horrific circumstances and what can truly be done about them. Is it better to try and solve the problem or better to just let fate and happenstance take its toll. Personally, I try to make the best out of any bad situation...perhaps that's why I like "depressing" stories...they make me realize my life could be worse and they help inspire me to always think of the best possible outcome. I'm sure this book won't be for everyone. Those who want a happy fairy-tale romp through a girl's life would do better to stay away. Those who are easily frustrated by fallen characters, will find themselves hating all of the primary roles in this book. The book isn't terribly lengthy (~300-400?) but some of the longer descriptive passages do crawl by at times. Still, I whole-heartedly recommend this book to those who are willing to look imperfection and awful situations square in the face and come away smiling. It's not a happy book. It's not a terribly fast past book (which can also be frustrating...I wanted to shout Just do it to Tess many times). But it is a wonderfully rich book and definitely worth getting into.
Sneezybee23 More than 1 year ago
Tess Durbeyfield is beset by guilt over the accidental death of one of her family's horses - a main source of family income. In an attempt to create a social connection and to gain financial assistance for her family, she entreats the d'Urbervilles to acknowledge an ancient familial connection. Unfortunately, Alec d'Urberville is taken with Tess and rapes her. Her life is haunted by his sexual assault from that point forward. Eventually, Tess begins to recuperate and finds employment elsewhere as a dairymaid. Her days as a dairymaid are happy and peaceful until she falls in love with Angel Clare. She agonizes over telling him of her tainted past, and when she confesses the truth on her wedding night, Angel is repulsed over her past and her deception of waiting to tell him. Tess is parted from her true love and never fully recovers, even when he returns to her. Tess of the d'Urbervilles is more than a sad story. It pays homage to the type of unhealthy family atmospheres that many children are raised in. The death of the horse is a direct result of her father's drunkenness and irresponsibility, though Tess never realizes this. When her parents hear of her misfortune, her mother reprimands her for not seeking marriage to the very man who raped her. The story also explores the mental effects that sexual assault can have on a person. Tess experiences extreme guilt, depression and feelings of unworthiness - common feelings for victims of sexual assault. In the end, as she is continually subjected to Alec d'Urberville, she experiences insanity which results in extreme actions. This particular edition included an introduction and notes about the text which I found helpful. However, I thought the girl on the cover did not resemble the maiden of the book. The girl on the front is plain and unremarkable, whereas, Tess, according to the text, is remarkable. I can see why this book is considered a literary classic, but I can't say I enjoyed it. That being said, I think everyone should read this book once. Tess is a memorable character that one can not help being fascinated with.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Was interested in the story until it took forever to be told. Tess could not walk a few feet without an overkill of scenery description. Got tired of skimming through these areas.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Tess of the d¿Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy enthralls its readers with the life of Tess Durbeyfield and the trials she is faced with. Hardy captivates the reader by characterizing the characters so well that it elicits certain responses to certain characters like sympathizing with Tess, loving Angel, and hating Alec. Tess is portrayed as the naïve, beautiful country girl who is going to live a fairy tale life when a handsome prince will sweep her off her feet. Thus, capturing the hearts of the readers, and immediately setting us against Alec, the antagonist, without a shred of sympathy. Alec pesters Tess with his ¿love¿ and ruins her chances by robbing her of her innocence, forever scarring her. Tess is presented with one chance to right her life with Angel, the love of her life, and her, his. Their unconditional love for one another touches the reader, evoking feelings of hope and optimism for the couple, although their happiness is ephemeral when Alec yet again, dashes it. By this point, the reader is frustrated and seething with anger toward Alec who constantly ruins things. There finally comes a point when Tess and Angel are reunited and the reader breathes a sigh of relief, but Hardy takes an unexpected twist at the end, leaving the reader unsatisfied and discontent. It feels like Hardy has taken us on a great roller coaster, and we¿re climbing up a steep incline, only to slowly glide down a tiny hill, and at the very end, there¿s a sharp turn, jolting the reader. The overall book is fabulously unsatisfying.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is an EXTRAORDINARY story of how the young Tess Durbyfield is torn between two lovers, a romantic, Alec D'Urberville and a preachers son, Angel Clare. She finds before meeting Alec her troubles begin when she accidentally kills the family horse. After meeting Alec and his blind mother she finds him attractive, and he her. After romancing, she realizes she doesn't love him, it is only infatuation. She returns home before venturing out again after her child dies. She finds work on a farm in a nearby town and meets Angel Clare. She had promised to never fall in love again, although Angel persisted they should be lovers. After turning down many proposals from Angel she finally accepts. On their honey-moon night, eat up with her guilt, Tess confesses her dark and mysterious past to Angel which causes him to become jealous since Alec is still alive. He decides to go away to Brazil until he can forgive Tess. While he is away Tess returns home yet again to tell her parents of what she had done. Tess decides to find and talk to Angels parents but her plan is thwarted. She travels to the near town and over-hears a preacher, but the voice sounds familiar. It is Alec! The two lovers see each other after so long. She refuses to talk to him and tell him of what she has done.....If I continue I will tell the most brilliant climax of the entire novel!!! You must read this book to find out what happens when the two lovers meet again, who forgives who, find out who is murdered, who is executed. The ending of this book is beyond shocking! This book may be a bit difficult to get into at first, but once you begin reading you can't put it down! You only wish to know what happens next!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hardy is an absolute wonderful story-teller, but this book is definately not for the faint of heart. It takes a few chapters to really get into and the climax of the story really doesn't live up to the tale itself. Wonderful writing, but a let-down in the end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is so hard to read. I have to read it for my high school English class and the dialect is crazy. It is so difficult! I mean, not to spoil it for anyone or anything, but I didn't even realize that she was raped. Really and truly, no idea. If you are going for a book that is not hard to understand and that is enjoyable, I'm sorry to say, but do not go for this book. Have a great life everyone! ~Krysti
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Emotionally draining
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