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Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Ubervilles


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Table of Contents

Introduction; A summary of the plot; What is Tess of the d'Urbervilles about? Does Hardy make us feel Tess is doomed from the start? How does Hardy use colour in Tess? Is Tess raped - or seduced - by Alec? What do Alec and Angel have in common? What lies behind Angel's rejection of Tess? How convincing a figure is Tess? How coherent is Hardy's view of nature? How big a role does the earth itself play in Tess? How convincing is the climax of Tess? Did a President of the Immortals sport with Tess? What does Tess tell us about human consciousness? A short chronology.

About the Author

Cedric Watts, after service in the Royal Navy, read English at Cambridge University, taking his BA (Class 1), MA and Ph.D. there. He has taught at Sussex University for many years, and is currently Emeritus Professor of English. His publications include poetry, fiction, and many critical and scholarly books, notably Thomas Hardy: 'Jude the Obscure' (in the Penguin Critical Studies series), Literature and Money, A Preface to Conrad, The Deceptive Text, A Preface to Greene, Cunninghame Graham: A Critical Biography (with Laurence Davies) and Henry V, War Criminal? and Other Shakespeare Puzzles (with John Sutherland). He has edited 34 volumes of material by Shakespeare, Conrad, Cunninghame Graham, Thomas Hardy and others. Edward Said praised Watts as "a man for whom the enjoyment and enrichment of friends and students are the main considerations in what he does".


"Clear, concise, eloquent and well-argued, I only wish I'd had this guide when I was still a student." David Nicholls, author of One Day.

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