In Tess, a woman victimized by lust, poverty, and hypocrisy, Thomas Hardy created no standard Victorian heroine, but a woman whose intense vitality flares unforgettably against the bleak background of a dying rural society. Shaped by an acute sense of social injustice and by a vision of harsh realism and indelibly poignant beauty. The novel shocked its Victorian audience with its honesty; it remains a triumph of literary art and a timeless commentary on the human condition.
A new introduction by bestselling author Lisa Alther illuminates the social and political mores that inspired and provoked Thomas Hardy to create this intimate portrait of a woman, and reveals the never-ending value of one of the literary world's most tragic female figures.
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