Tess of the d’Urbervilles

I finally finished this book.

It was a hard one to get through. I found Thomas Hardy’s writing hard to read through at times, although that probably had a lot to do with the fact he voiced the dialogue. The dialogue was in many cases tough to understand, as it was as the Brits of that era and locale spoke.

On the whole, despite this book being a legend and a classic, I’m not a huge fan. I try to read some of the well-renowned classics, to see what I’m missing, but this is one where I’m not sure what I got out of it. I just found it a tough slog and hard to truly see what was going on.

There were some events and episodes only alluded to, and not explicitly stated. Like Alec d’Urberville’s rape of Tess. Or whether Tess and Angel had sex while at the dairy. For the former, the only indication of what happened with Alec as far as I could tell is that suddenly Tess was with child. In the case of the latter, I believe there was reference to Tess and Angel ‘making love,’ which is code for having sex. But by no means is that spelled out. I’m sure the Victorians would have seen the true facts, but I could not.

Now, don’t for a minute think I was looking for graphic depictions of rape and consensual sex. I just would have been better with being able to tell what happened.


I don’t really have that much more to say on the book. I found it hard to get through because of the language and allusions used, and I never really got into it.

It may be a classic, but I didn’t feel it.