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Hardy: Tess of the d'Urbervilles (Critical Studies, Penguin)

Hardy: Tess of the d'Urbervilles (Critical Studies, Penguin)

From Library Journal

This edition of the Hardy classic includes a complete authoritative text plus biographical and historical contexts, critical history, essays by five scholars, and a glossary. A fine scholarly edition for the academic crowd.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


Novel by Thomas Hardy, first published serially in bowdlerized form in the Graphic (July-December 1891) and in its entirety in book form (three volumes) the same year. It was subtitled A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented because Hardy felt that its heroine was a virtuous victim of a rigid Victorian moral code. Now considered Hardy's masterwork, it departed from conventional Victorian fiction in its focus on the rural lower class and in its open treatment of sexuality and religion. After her impoverished family learns of its , naive Tess Durbeyfield is sent to make an appeal to a nearby wealthy family who bear the ancestral name d'Urberville. Tess is seduced by dissolute Alec d'Urberville and secretly bears a child, Sorrow, who dies in infancy. Later working as a dairymaid she meets and marries , an idealistic gentleman who rejects Tess after learning of her past on their wedding night. Emotionally bereft and financially impoverished, Tess is trapped by necessity into giving in once again to d'Urberville, but she murders him when Angel returns. After a few days with Angel, Tess is arrested and executed. -- The Merriam- of Literature
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Description

This provides a criticism of one of Hardy's most popular novels, originally written in 1891, which is frequently set for A-level and university students. Examining the centrality of Hardy's heroine, Graham Handley focuses upon the phases of Tess' existence, emphasizing at the same time the symbolism and relevance of the novel's secondary characters. His analysis of the descriptive and figurative patterns that run through the novel, his commentary on the use of dialect and dialogue and the role of the omniscient author, and most significant, his exploration of the themes that dominate "Tess" - the subordination of women, deception and fate, among others - all serve to celebrate the artistic complexity, intensity and humanity of this novel.

Book Description

Cambridge Literature is a series of literary texts edited for study by students aged 14-18 in English-speaking classrooms. It will include novels, poetry, plays, short stories, essays, travel-writing and other non-fiction. Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy is edited by Rex Gibson, Director, Shakespeare and Schools Project.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

Founded in 1906 by J.M. Dent, the Everyman Library has always tried to make the best books ever written available to the greatest number of people at the lowest possible price. Unique editorial features that help Everyman Paperback Classics stand out from the crowd include: a leading scholar or literary critic's introduction to the text, a biography of the author, a chronology of her or his life and times, a historical selection of criticism, and a concise plot summary. All books published since 1993 have also been completely restyled: all type has been reset, to offer a clarity and ease of reading unique among editions of the classics; a vibrant, full-color cover design now complements these great texts with beautiful contemporary works of art. But the best feature must be Everyman's uniquely low price. Each Everyman title offers these extensive materials at a price that competes with the most inexpensive editions on the market-but Everyman Paperbacks have durable binding, quality paper, and the highest editorial and scholarly standards.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

Thomas Hardy
Tess of the d'Urbervilles
Etched against the background of a dying rural society, Tess of the      d'Urbervilles was Thomas Hardy's "bestseller," and Tess Durbeyfield remains his most striking and tragic heroine. Of all the characters he created, she meant the most to him. Hopelessly torn between two men--Alec d'Urberville, a wealthy, dissolute young man who seduces her in a lonely wood, and angel clare, her provincial, moralistic, and unforgiving husband--Tess escapes from her vise of passion through a horrible, desperate act.
------"Like the greatest characters in literature, Tess lives beyond the final pages of the book as a permanent citizen of the imagination," said Irving Howe. "In Tess he stakes everything on his sensuous apprehension of a young woman's life, a girl who is at once a simple milkmaid and an archetype of feminine strength. . . . Tess is that rare creature in literature: goodness made interesting."
------Now Tess of the d'Urbervilles has been brought to television in a magnificent new co-production from A&E Network and London Weekend Television. Justine Waddell (Anna Karenina) stars as the tragic heroine, Tess; Oliver Milburn (Chandler & Co.) is angel clare; and Jason Flemyng is Alec d'Urberville.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

"Hardy is possessed of the conviction that a novel is not a toy, nor an argument; it is a means of giving truthful if harsh and violent impressions of the lives of men and women. . . . In every book three or four figures predominate, and stand up like lightning conductors to attract the force of the elements. . . . In short, nobody can deny Hardy's power--the true novelist's power--to make us believe that his characters are fellow-beings driven by their own passions and idiosyncrasies, while they have--and this is the poet's gift--something symbolical about them which is common to us all."
--Virginia Woolf
Also available in the A&E
Literary Collection:
Jane Eyre
Pride and Prejudice
Tom Jones
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Thomas Hardy was born in 1840 and wrote both poetry and novels, including The Mayor of Casterbridge, Far From the Madding Crowd and Jude the Obscure. He died in 1928. Tim Dolin teaches English at the University of Newcastle, New South Wales. Margaret R. Higonnet teaches English and Comparative Literature at the University of Connecticut.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

From AudioFile

Those who are intimidated by the thought of reading an expansive, elaborate, great English novel, take heart. Now you can delight in hearing this classic story told to you. Peter Firth artistically interprets this fateful tale of a young country woman's entrapment by one of literature's great cads, Alec D'Urberville, and her subsequent abandonment by her husband, . Firth's tone is one of gentle solemnity, quiet and sad, not overly dramatic, but still foreboding. His dialects sound natural and unforced. His pacing is unrushed, respectful of the book's structure and punctuation. His pronunciation is flawless, with words like "interlocutor" and "theolatry" little sound poems in themselves. His light voice for Tess captures both the vulnerability and quiet strength of this misused maiden. His homage to Hardy's world view is evident in his thoughtful rendering of every homily, philosophical assertion and poetic description. Production values are also top rate: no swallows, gulps, or page turnings. The volume level is consistent, and the entire performance is of the best fidelity. It's hard to think that TESS could be interpreted better. P.W. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine
--This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

Hardy: Tess of the d'Urbervilles (Critical Studies, Penguin) Book Reviews

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