Tess of the Durbervilles : A Case Study in Contempoary Critiscm (Paperback)

Author: Hardy, Thomas

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Product Overview

This critical edition of Thomas Hardy''s widely taught 1891 British Victorian novel reprints the authoritative second impression of the 1920 Wessex edition together with critical essays that approach the work from 5 contemporary critical perspectives and highly praised editorial apparatus that introduces students to the novel and the perspectives.


Publisher Macmillan Higher Education
Mfg Part# 9780312106881
SKU 33667225
Format Paperback
ISBN10 0312106882
Release Date 3/17/2009
Dimensions (in Inches) 8.25H x 5.5L x 0.75T
Author Info
Thomas Hardy
Born in Dorset, Thomas Hardy wrote about his native region all his life, calling it "Wessex" in his novels. Hardy was apprenticed to an architect at 15, but began to write novels in his spare time when he was in his 20s. His first novel was rejected by George Meredith, a reader for the publisher he sent it to, but he was considered promising, and Meredith encouraged him to try again. Hardy, who had also been writing poetry, gave it up temporarily for fiction, and his first novel was published three years later. He abandoned architecture for the life of a writer, producing a series of masterpieces that ended with "Jude the Obscure" in 1896. That novel's frankness and unsparing bleakness met with such a hostile reception that Hardy returned to writing poetry, which he continued to produce until the end of his life. His novels are strongly determinist, demonstrating the ways in which the forces of nature shape human existence: People are at the mercy of their passions; fate and chance rule their lives, and the only heroic path is endurance. His poetry contains similar themes, and all of his work is permeated with a melancholy that often turns to tragedy.
"[N]ot only good, but great."
From the Publisher
Annotation Because of its sexual frankness and indictment of Victorian hypocrisy, Hardy's novel was considered shocking when it was published in 1891. It is the tale of Tess Derbeyfield, a young country girl whose rape by Alec D'Urberville, a distant aristocratic relative, leads to pregnancy. Tess's baby dies, and she finds work as a dairymaid at a farm where no one knows her story. There she falls in love with and marries a young farmer named Angel Clare, but when Angel finds out about his wife's past, he is horrified, and deserts her. Tess meets Alec again--now a reformed character who has become an itinerant preacher--and lives with him as his wife. When Angel returns for her and finds her with Alec, he leaves her again--and Tess, in despair, stabs Alec--the cause of all her woes--and kills him. She and Angel are reunited, but only briefly: Tess is taken into custody and will be tried for murder and hanged. The cynical and sophisticated Alec's seduction of a country girl, and the self-righteous Angel's destructive idealization of her, can be seen as symbols of the city's ruthless exploitation of the English countryside--a common theme in Hardy's fiction.
Product Attributes
Book Format Paperback
Number of Pages 0606
Publisher Bedford Books

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