Tess of the d'Urbervilles Essay

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Walker

In the following essay, Walker, a doctoral candidate at the University of Texas, notes that while some criticisms of Hardy's novel are justified, the view of Tess as a pessimistic work is not really valid.

Tess of the d'Urbervilles was Thomas Hardy's penultimate novel, published in 1891 when he was fifty-one years old (Jude the Obscure, his final novel, appeared four years later). After Jude, Hardy returned to his original love, poetry, producing eight volumes of verse during the last thirty years of his life. In his two-volume autobiography (credited to his second wife, Florence Emily Hardy, but written predominantly by Hardy himself), he claimed to have taken up the writing of novels "under the stress of necessity," and to have "long intended to abandon [it] at some indefinite time." It was the troubles he experienced with the publication of Tess, however, that "well-nigh compelled  him, in...

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This section contains 1,121 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Tess of the d'Urbervilles Study Guide
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