Tess of the D'Urbervilles Author:Thomas Hardy "She dances on the green with the maidens. She is raped in the wood at sixteen. She buries her child in secret. She milds a cow named Dumpling. She hacks turnips on a barren farm . . . She stabs a man. She hides in an old house with her lover. She wakes to a circle of police, to a noose in the morning." — Thus Donald Hall writes of the fig... more »ure who dominates this classic novel of tragic destiny. In Tess, victimized by lust, poverty, and hypocrisy, Thomas Hardy created no standard Victorian heroine, but a woman whose intense vitality flares unforgettably against the bleak background of a dying rural society. Shaped by an acute sense of social injustice and by a vision of human fate cosmic in scope, her story is a singular blending of harsh realism and indelibly poignant beauty. The novel shocked its Victorian audience with its honesty; it remains a triumph of literary art and a timeless commentary on the human condition.
In the words of Virginia Woolf, "If we are to place Hardy among his fellows, we must call him the greatest tragic writer in the English language."« less