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Young Tess Durbeyfield attempts to restore her family's fortunes by claiming their connection with the aristocratic d'Urbervilles. But Alec d'Urberville is a rich wastrel who seduces her and makes her life miserable. When Tess meets Angel Clare, she is offered true love and happiness, but her past catches up with her and she faces an agonizing moral choice. Hardy's indictment of society's double standards, and his depiction of Tess as "a pure woman," caused controversy in his day and has held the imagination of readers ever since. Hardy thought it his finest novel, and Tess the most deeply felt character he ever created. Thomas Hardy, OM (2 June 1840 – 11 January 1928) was an English novelist, short story writer, and poet of the naturalist movement. The bulk of his work, set mainly in the semi-imaginary county of Wessex, delineates characters struggling against their passions and circumstances. Hardy's poetry, first published in his fifties, has come to be as well regarded as his novels, especially after the 1960s Movement. Source: Wikipedia
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"Thomas Hardy's thrilling story of seduction, murder, cruelty and betrayal" (The Times)
"Like the greatest characters in literature, Tess lives beyond the final pages of the book as a permanent citizen of the imagination... Tess is that rare creature in literature: goodness made interesting" (Irving Howe)
"Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles has a lush sensuality about the heat of summer and the heat of lust which makes the gorgeousness of Hardy's heroine and his country of Wessex both seems utterly desirable as the tale of tragic fate unfolds" (The Times)
"Hardy never used his "country" and his Greek ambitions to better effect" (Melvyn Bragg)
"Tess's beauty and the effect that it has on others gave me a sense of the destructive power of sex" (Rufus Wainwright)
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