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Tess of the d’Urbervilles , 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 .

SUMMARY: After her impoverished family learns of its noble lineage, naive Tess Durbeyfield is sent by her slothful father and ignorant mother to make an appeal to a nearby wealthy family who bear the ancestral name d’Urberville. Tess, attractive and innocent, 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 Angel Clare , 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.

Articles such as this one were acquired and published with the primary aim of expanding the information on Britannica.com with greater speed and efficiency than has traditionally been possible. Although these articles may currently differ in style from others on the site, they allow us to provide wider coverage of topics sought by our readers, through a diverse range of trusted voices. These articles have not yet undergone the rigorous in-house editing or fact-checking and styling process to which most Britannica articles are customarily subjected. In the meantime, more information about the article and the author can be found by clicking on the author’s name.

Tess of the d’Urbervilles , 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 .

SUMMARY: After her impoverished family learns of its noble lineage, naive Tess Durbeyfield is sent by her slothful father and ignorant mother to make an appeal to a nearby wealthy family who bear the ancestral name d’Urberville. Tess, attractive and innocent, 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 Angel Clare , 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.

Originally serialized in a paper The Graphic , Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles was first published as a book in 1891. This work was Hardy's second-to-the-last novel ( Jude the Obscure being his final one). Set in rural England, the novel tells the story of a poor girl, Tess Durbeyfield, who is sent by her parents to a supposedly noble family in the hope of finding a fortune and a gentleman for a husband.

The novel is divided into seven sections, titled as phases. While it may seem usual to many readers, critics have discussed the significance of this term in relation to the progress of the plot and its moral implications. Various phases of the novel have been named according to various life phases of Hardy's heroine: "The Maiden," "Maiden No More," and so on to the final phase, "Fulfillment."

Tess of the d'Urberville is essentially a third-person narrative, but most of the events (all significant events, in fact) are seen through the eyes of Tess. The order of these events follows a simple chronological sequence, a quality that augments the ambiance of a simple rural life. Where we see Hardy's real mastery is the difference in the language of people from the social classes (e.g. the Clares in contrast with the farm workers).

Articles such as this one were acquired and published with the primary aim of expanding the information on Britannica.com with greater speed and efficiency than has traditionally been possible. Although these articles may currently differ in style from others on the site, they allow us to provide wider coverage of topics sought by our readers, through a diverse range of trusted voices. These articles have not yet undergone the rigorous in-house editing or fact-checking and styling process to which most Britannica articles are customarily subjected. In the meantime, more information about the article and the author can be found by clicking on the author’s name.

Tess of the d’Urbervilles , 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 .

SUMMARY: After her impoverished family learns of its noble lineage, naive Tess Durbeyfield is sent by her slothful father and ignorant mother to make an appeal to a nearby wealthy family who bear the ancestral name d’Urberville. Tess, attractive and innocent, 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 Angel Clare , 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.

Originally serialized in a paper The Graphic , Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles was first published as a book in 1891. This work was Hardy's second-to-the-last novel ( Jude the Obscure being his final one). Set in rural England, the novel tells the story of a poor girl, Tess Durbeyfield, who is sent by her parents to a supposedly noble family in the hope of finding a fortune and a gentleman for a husband.

The novel is divided into seven sections, titled as phases. While it may seem usual to many readers, critics have discussed the significance of this term in relation to the progress of the plot and its moral implications. Various phases of the novel have been named according to various life phases of Hardy's heroine: "The Maiden," "Maiden No More," and so on to the final phase, "Fulfillment."

Tess of the d'Urberville is essentially a third-person narrative, but most of the events (all significant events, in fact) are seen through the eyes of Tess. The order of these events follows a simple chronological sequence, a quality that augments the ambiance of a simple rural life. Where we see Hardy's real mastery is the difference in the language of people from the social classes (e.g. the Clares in contrast with the farm workers).

Tragedy haunts the works of Thomas Hardy (1840–1928), whose fiction abounds in star-crossed lovers and other characters thwarted by fate or their own shortcomings. Hardy's outspoken criticism of Victorian society excited such profound controversy that the author abandoned fiction and in the 20th century published only poetry.

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