Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

This is a heartbreaking story about a poor family who, wrongly, believe they have discovered they are descended from royalty. They place their daughter, Tess, on estate in hopes of making her fortune, but, instead, she ends up tending fowl, becoming pregnant and losing the child, working as a milkmaid, and falling in and out of love with two men. This is not a romance story where everyone lives happily ever after.

Thomas Hardy, Order of Merit (2 June 1840 – 11 January 1928) was an English novelist and poet. A Victorian realist in the tradition of George Eliot, he was influenced both in his novels and in his poetry by Romanticism, especially William Wordsworth. He was highly critical of much in Victorian society, though Hardy focused more on a declining rural society.

While Hardy wrote poetry throughout his life and regarded himself primarily as a poet, his first collection was not published until 1898. Initially, therefore, he gained fame as the author of such novels as Far from the Madding Crowd (1874), The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886), Tess of the d'Urbervilles (1891), and Jude the Obscure (1895). During his lifetime, Hardy's poetry was acclaimed by younger poets (particularly the Georgians) who viewed him as a mentor. After his death his poems were lauded by Ezra Pound, W. H. Auden and Philip Larkin.

Many of his novels concern tragic characters struggling against their passions and social circumstances, and they are often set in the semi-fictional region of Wessex; initially based on the medieval Anglo-Saxon kingdom, Hardy's Wessex eventually came to include the counties of Dorset, Wiltshire, Somerset, Devon, Hampshire and much of Berkshire, in southwest and south central England. Two of his novels, Tess of the d'Urbervilles and Far from the Madding Crowd, were listed in the top 50 on the BBC's survey The Big Read. Source: Wikipedia

"Arrrrgh. What a beautifully frustrating and revealing book. And impossibly well-crafted."

Paperback (Amazon): http://amzn.com/1544072869
Kindle (Amazon): https://amzn.com/B06XFJPK89
Nook (Barnes & Noble): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/1003523907?ean=2940157301811
Kobo (Kobo): https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/tess-of-the-d-urbervilles-106

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