The time-travelling bookworm: ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’ by Thomas Hardy

I know this book well, having studied it and seen maybe two or three adaptations. It’s not really an accessible read, because Hardy had a tendency to insert bits of Latin, Greek and various mythology references into his writing. Luckily if you have a good edition (such as Penguin Classics) these are not much of a problem as there are notes in the back. While the writing can be quite detailed, the content is fairly simple and includes the typical Hardy trademarks: tragedy, missed opportunities, coincidences, lost innocence and more tragedy. First published in 1891 as a newspaper serial, with the subtitle A Pure Woman Faithfully Represented, the book was somewhat controversial at the time but is now known as a classic and possibly Hardy’s greatest work. It’s not my favourite of his but I’m certain to re-read it (yet again) in the near future.

12 thoughts on “The time-travelling bookworm: ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’ by Thomas Hardy”

    1. It’s very sad so I don’t blame you for avoiding the book! The writing is so well-crafted though.

    1. Well I have to admit, I studied it for A-level so I ended up reading it maybe 3 times, but I have read it again since. Agree it’s heartbreaking 🙁

    1. I’m not sure I would recommend Tess as a first Hardy novel, maybe The Mayor of Casterbridge or Far From the Madding Crowd 🙂

  1. I am yet to read something by Hardy and Tess of the d’Urbervilles has been on my thr for a LONG time! I even have its paperback. And your post has reminded me to read it, N! 😇❤️

    1. I look forward to hearing what you think of it 🙂 It’s not the easiest of his books but it has memorable characters and it’s so awfully sad 🙁

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