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When Tess Durbeyfield is driven by family poverty to claim kinship with the wealthy D'Urbervilles and seek a portion of their family fortune, meeting her 'cousin' Alec proves to be her downfall. A very different man, Angel Clare, seems to offer her love, but Tess must choose whether to reveal her past or remain silent in hope of a peaceful future.
Formerly a prize-winning architectural student, Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) went on to become a prolific novelist and poet. Tess of the D'Urbervilles, set in the 'partly real, partly dream-country' of Wessex, was at first refused publication and then published in censored form, shocking readers in the challenge it posed to social and sexual mores.Hardy's novels Under the Greenwood Tree, Far From the Madding Crowd, The Return of the Native, Two on a Tower, The Mayor of Casterbridge and Jude the Obscure are also published in the Penguin English Library.