Thomas Hardy was born in 1840 and wrote both poetry and novels, including The Mayor of Casterbridge, Far From the Madding Crowd and Jude the Obscure. He died in 1928. Tim Dolin teaches English at the University of Newcastle, New South Wales. Margaret R. Higonnet teaches English and Comparative Literature at the University of Connecticut.
"[Tess of the D'Urbervilles is] Hardy's finest, most complex and most notorious novel . . . The novel is not a mere plea for compassion for the eternal victim, though that is the banner it flies. It also involves a profound questioning of contemporary morality." -from the Introduction by Patricia Ingham