Tess of the D'UrbervillesPaperback Norton Critical Editions
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- Publisher: WW Norton & Co
- Format: Paperback | 512 pages
- Dimensions: 130mm x 210mm x 25mm | 499g
- Publication date: 23 October 1991
- Publication City/Country: New York
- ISBN 10: 0393959031
- ISBN 13: 9780393959031
- Edition: 3, Annotated
- Edition statement: 3rd edition
- Illustrations note: Ill.
- Sales rank: 185,783
The text is fully annotated and includes a separate table of contents for the novel to assist readers in locating specific episodes or passages. Hardy's hand-drawn map of Wessex and the manuscript title page for the first edition of his novel are also included. Hardy and the Novel includes seven poems by Hardy that provide greater insight into his ethos; selections from Michael Millgate's biography of Hardy that depict the relationship between episodes in Tess of the D'Urbervilles and events in the author's life; and excerpts from Grindle and Gatrell's introduction to the 1983 edition that discuss Hardy's revision process in both manuscripts and early printed editions of the novel. Criticism features three contemporary reviews of the novel not printed in the earlier Norton editions, including the first feminist review of Tess of the D'Urbervilles. Also new are "A Chat with Mr. Hardy," a hitherto unprinted post-publication interview with the author about his new novel, and five carefully selected critical interpretations. Essays by Elliot B. Gose, Jr., Peter R. Morton, and Gillian Beer address Hardy's debt to Charles Darwin, perhaps the single most important influence on Hardy's thought and imagination; Raymond Williams's essay presents a Marxist perspective; and Adrian Poole discusses the significance of Hardy's wisdom concerning "the trouble men's words have with women and the trouble women have with men's words." A Chronology, new to this edition, and a Selected Bibliography are included.
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Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), enduring author of the twentieth century, wrote the classics Jude the Obscure, Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Far from the Madding Crowd, The Return of the Native, The Mayor of Casterbridge, and many other works. Scott Elledge was Goldwin Smith Professor of English Emeritus at Cornell University. He was the author of E. B. White: A Biography and Wider than the Sky: Poems Selected for Young Readers. He was the editor of the Norton Critical Edition of Paradise Lost, Eighteenth-Century Critical Essays, and Milton's "Lycidas": An Approach to Criticism.
Hardy wanted to understand women, and found, as I have done, how absorbing they are for a male novelist. He also loved pastoral force, and found it useful for conveying mood and condition. The dairy and the meadows of his Dorset descriptive passages bring fecundity and sensuality to the book, and the size of Hardy's spirit enabled him to get away with material that would fall risibly short in other hands. By the time the President of the Immortals has finished his sport with Tess, Hardy's recurrent theme, of the what-might-have-been of failed love, has enthralled us again. Review by Frank Delaney, whose books include 'The Amethysts' (Kirkus UK)