'Gloriously physical, full of passion and irony, humour and tenderness' Anne Michaels
'My life looks as if it had been wasted for want of chances! When I see what you know, what you have read, and seen, and thought, I feel what a nothing I am!'
Challenging the hypocrisy and social conventions of the rural Victorian world, Tess of the D'Urbervilles follows the story of Tess Durbeyfield as she attempts to escape the poverty of her background, seeking wealth by claiming connection with the aristocratic D'Urberville family. It is through Tess's relationships with two very different men that Hardy tells the story of his tragic heroine, and exposes the double standards of the world that she inhabits with searing pathos and heart-rending sentiment.
‘I shall do one thing in this life – one thing certain – that is, love you, and long for you, and keep wanting you till I die’
Independent and spirited, Bathsheba Everdene owns the hearts of three men. Striving to win her love in different ways, their relationships with Bathsheba complicate her life in bucolic Wessex – and cast shadows over their own. With the morals and expectations of rural society weighing heavily upon her, Bathsheba experiences the torture of unrequited love and betrayal, and discovers how random acts of chance and tragedy can dramatically alter life’s course.
The first of Hardy’s novels to become a major literary success, Far from the Madding Crowd explores what it means to live and to love.
with original illustrations