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ENDURING LITERATURE ILLUMINATED BY PRACTICAL SCHOLARSHIP

A young woman challenges the conventions of her time in this classic novel about nineteenth-century English society.

THIS ENRICHED CLASSIC EDITION INCLUDES:

A concise introduction that gives readers important background information A chronology of the author's life and work A timeline of significant events that provides the book's historical context An outline of key themes and plot points to help readers form their own interpretations Detailed explanatory notes Critical analysis, including contemporary and modern perspectives on the work Discussion questions to promote lively classroom and book group interaction A list of recommended related books and films to broaden the reader's experience

Enriched Classics offer readers affordable editions of great works of literature enhanced by helpful notes and insightful commentary. The scholarship provided in Enriched Classics enables readers to appreciate, understand, and enjoy the world's finest books to their full potential.

Topics: Sexual Abuse, Love, Family, Morality, Poverty, Female Protagonist, Coming of Age, Dark, Tragic, Romantic, Naturalism, Victorian Era, England, Rural, and Bildungsroman

Published: Simon & Schuster on
ISBN: 9781416592167
List price: $6.95
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I don't remember anything about this book. Evidently, it didn't do much with my imagination.more
Depressing and morose.
The story has potential but the main character needs some backbone.more
I am currently sitting in a gorgeous B&B in the very county where Thomas Hardy was born, a few miles from a hill Tess herself climbed. Sydling, in case you were wondering. Dorset. It's beautiful, and this book is really location-specific - Hardy spends an inordinate amount of time describing the countryside in minute detail, and you look out the window and yep, that's what it's like.

The advice I give to people who aren't feeling Tess, which never helps because if you ain't feelin' it it ain't gettin' felt, is to not take it too seriously. It's a Melodrama (capital M!). Everything in it is totally over the top. I thought it was a blast. Think of it as Hardy gleefully jumping the shark. The pheasant scene is what does it for me - you'll know it when you get there, it won't be long - it's beautiful and vividly drawn, but at the same time ludicrously overblown. That's the novel. Hardy is pulling the stops out.

No spoilers, I promise: The ending is the same deal. Some folks criticize it for being sortof "TA-FRIGGIN'-DAH!" But that's why I love it. Why not? In my opinion, anyone who hates that ending secretly wishes they'd thought of it themselves. Someone had to write that. Hardy did.more
It's a pretty uplifting book with the title character being the kind that needs a good shake up! Of course Tess was let down by Angel deserting her although she was raped by Alec, or at least was not desiring a relationship with Alec. I suppose it is a tragedy brought on by the morals of the timesmore
Read all 68 reviews

Reviews

I don't remember anything about this book. Evidently, it didn't do much with my imagination.more
Depressing and morose.
The story has potential but the main character needs some backbone.more
I am currently sitting in a gorgeous B&B in the very county where Thomas Hardy was born, a few miles from a hill Tess herself climbed. Sydling, in case you were wondering. Dorset. It's beautiful, and this book is really location-specific - Hardy spends an inordinate amount of time describing the countryside in minute detail, and you look out the window and yep, that's what it's like.

The advice I give to people who aren't feeling Tess, which never helps because if you ain't feelin' it it ain't gettin' felt, is to not take it too seriously. It's a Melodrama (capital M!). Everything in it is totally over the top. I thought it was a blast. Think of it as Hardy gleefully jumping the shark. The pheasant scene is what does it for me - you'll know it when you get there, it won't be long - it's beautiful and vividly drawn, but at the same time ludicrously overblown. That's the novel. Hardy is pulling the stops out.

No spoilers, I promise: The ending is the same deal. Some folks criticize it for being sortof "TA-FRIGGIN'-DAH!" But that's why I love it. Why not? In my opinion, anyone who hates that ending secretly wishes they'd thought of it themselves. Someone had to write that. Hardy did.more
It's a pretty uplifting book with the title character being the kind that needs a good shake up! Of course Tess was let down by Angel deserting her although she was raped by Alec, or at least was not desiring a relationship with Alec. I suppose it is a tragedy brought on by the morals of the timesmore
Spellbinding, suspenseful, and a must-read. Cannot believe I have not read this before, but glad I read all of Jane Austen first. Hardy was absolutely brilliant! It's been awhile since I spent days raging to family about a character or cried on walks while listening to audio (I also read portions from my hard copy which has been on my shelf for years).more
I could barely make it halfway through this book before I had to toss it aside. I hate it when the author tries to write a sentence phonetically, instead of just typing it out in standard English, and then saying (spoken in a _____ accent). It makes it very difficult to read. That bit aside, the little that I did read seemed to be following a very tragic route. Firstly, her parents are extremely foolish, and very poor, and have a string of children to feed. She accidentally kills the family horse, and then tries to restore honor by going to work for what she thinks is her rich relation (they aren't even related). Her mother hopes she will marry the rich relation. Instead, he rapes her. The child that she has (aptly named Sorrow), dies in infancy. That is about the point where I started to just lose interest. It's a bit depressing to be reading about rape and infant death. The book does have some redeeming qualities. For instance, Hardy was a bit of a rebel for his time- he wrote things that seriously wounded Victorian sensibilities. He wrote of poverty, death, and rape, at a time when that was not considered to be part of "polite" conversation. What today might be considered mild, was certainly at the time the book was written, considered outrageous. This is probably the reason why this book would be included on a school's reading list.more
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