Tess of the d'Urbervilles Contents
- Social / political context
- Religious / philosophical context
- Chapters 1-9
- Chapters 10-19
- Chapters 20-29
- Chapters 30-39
- Chapters 40-49
- Chapters 50-59
- Tess as a 'Pure Woman'
- Tess as a secular pilgrim
- Tess as a victim
- The world of women
- Tess as an outsider
- Coincidence, destiny and fate
- Disempowerment of the working class
- Heredity and inheritance
- Laws of nature vs. laws of society
- Nature as sympathetic or indifferent
- Patterns of the past
- Sexual predation
- Inner conflicts: body against soul
There have been numerous biographies as new aspects of Hardy's life have been discussed and researched. Two recent ones are:
- Pite, Ralph: Thomas Hardy: the Guarded Life (Picador, 2006)
- Tomalin, Claire: Thomas Hardy (Penguin Books, 2007)
Critical texts on Hardy
There has been an abundance of critical works over the 20th and 21st centuries:
- Williams, Raymond: Culture & Society 1780-1950 (Open University, 1983).
Handbooks and companions
These types of books give a good deal of background and are useful for an historicist reading:
- Kramer, Dale ed. The Cambridge Companion to Thomas Hardy (Cambridge University Press, 1999). This includes a good essay by Linda Shires: 'The Radical Aesthetics of Tess'
- Pinion, F.B.: A Hardy Companion (Basingstoke, Macmillan, 1968).
- Gregor, Ian: The Great Web: the Form of Hardy's Major Fiction (Faber & Faber, 1975)
- van Ghent, Dorothy: The English Novel: Form and Function (New York: Reinhart & Co.,1953). This has an excellent chapter on the colour symbolism in Tess.
- Blake, Kathleen: 'Pure Tess: Hardy on Knowing a Woman' in Dale Kramer ed. Critical Essays on Thomas Hardy: the Novels (Boston: G.K.Hall, 1990)
- Boumelha, Penny: Thomas Hardy and Women: Sexual Ideology and Narrative Form (Harvester Press, 1982).
- Enstice, Andrew: Thomas Hardy: Landscapes of the Mind (New York: St Martin's Press, 1979)
- Lodge, David: The Language of Fiction which contains an important chapter 'Tess, Nature and the Voices of Hardy' (London: Routledge, Kegan, Paul, 1966).
Philosophical and religious approaches
- LaValley, Albert J. ed.: Twentieth Century Interpretations of Tess of the d'Urbervilles (Prentice-Hall Inc., 1969). (This includes Arnold Kettle's Marxist reading)
- Qualls, Barry: Secular Pilgrims of Victorian Fiction (Cambridge University Press, 1981)
- C.H.Salter: Good Little Thomas Hardy (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1981). This has a good opening chapter on modernity.
Scan and go
Scan on your mobile for direct link.