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Tess of the d'Urbervilles (Wordsworth Classics) of Thomas Hardy on 07 June 1992
Tess of the d'Urbervilles (Wordsworth Classics) of Thomas Hardy on 07 June 1992

5.0 out of 5 stars Passion, injustice, love, betrayal, seduction and murder, 25 Aug. 2016
A 19th century tale of passion, injustice, love, betrayal, seduction and murder.

The story is set in rural Victorian England and centres on a young female protagonist and her troubled life. Tess is brought up in a large improvised household and she is a rather underprivileged though not unhappy girl. The early details of rural life during the summer and the close-knit community in which Tess lives really stands out, Hardy knew how to paint a picture through words. There's a lovely scene of a community dance taking place in the fields. Three middleclass young brothers trekking through the countryside happen to be passing, one stops for a dance, though not with Tess before quickly leaving.
The condition of the family worsens when her father takes to drink and the family horse is killed in an accident. Tess is whisked off to make money for the family by working for a rich distant relation, her mother hopes marriage to a wealthy gentleman might be the answer to all their woes.

Tess’s character when we first meet her is very sweet and honest, both trustworthy and trusting. She is a good daughter to her parents and shares the responsibility of looking after her siblings as the eldest one. She’s described as a big girl, bewitchingly beautiful in a pure rustic kind of way. The ideal kind of femininity back then was for a lady to be small and slight, to wear elegant dresses and basically to stay indoors, you’ll find lots of these in Dickens, Kippling, Doyle and even Austen. Tess doesn’t conform to this model, the female protagonist Hardy created was a subtle challenge for any reader at the time.

Tess quickly catches the attention of Alec D’Uuberville the rich young arrogant bad boy of the neighbourhood. Tess immediately feels uncomfortable in his company and especially with his unwelcome advances but she feels unable to leave while her family’s financial future depends on her. She lacks the skills or assertiveness to deal with him while Alec often insists he is only being playful and wouldn’t hurt her, he also spends time buying gifts, including a new horse for her family giving her confused feelings towards him and not wanting to appear ungrateful. In 21st vocabulary we might say the word grooming applies here when describing his behaviour. One night he finally gets her alone after they become lost in the woods on the way back from a party.

The next day Tess heads back to her family home in disgrace, she reprimands Alec for his cruel behaviour and Alec agrees with her that he is a bad man though he does offer to help her if she ever finds herself in need.

Tess confines herself to her childhood bedroom as whispers about her spread across the village, she draws into a state of isolation and depression as a result of what’s she’s been through and how people have judged her. Even in church the one place she ought to be free from judgement and scorn she feels everyone’s eyes on her and hears the whispering going on. The following summer she gives birth to a sickly baby who quickly dies. Tess has spends time recovering before leaving her family again to travel to a new village to look for work. This period marks a bright spot for her, she quickly befriends three milkmaids as well as impressing the farm owner with her hard work and skills. The summer draws on and life seems idyllic on the farm. Love also appears on the horizon in the shape of a handsome affluent young man called Angel who first appeared near the beginning of the novel. All three milkmaids are also in love with him but it’s Tess who he grows closer too. In spite of his clerical upbringing Angel is a self-styled free thinker who rejects religious orthodoxy. Tess feels she has met somebody much more understanding that others and must decide whether she can tell him the truth about her past. Will he still be able to love her once she’s done so?

To put the story into context, society was deeply conservative in the time this was written, religion had a powerful hold over communities and society was split between the respectable type of people and then the rest, the drunks, the prostitutes, the unwed mothers, the sinful and dammed. The subtitle of the book is "a pure woman, faithfully presented." The book had many Victorian readers choking on their cornflakes with it's powerful critique of their society and double standards.

I've read the book a few times and thoroughly enjoyed each reading. The characters all feel plausible, real and each in their own way flawed. Alec returns later in the novel and his character becomes increasingly complex and layered. The book also explores the industrialisation taking place across the country and the vanishing traditions of rural life. There's more than a touch of melancholia about this for the author. Nature at times seems to operate as a force throughout the novel, reflecting our characters moods. The novel also feels fatalistic too, Tess is not able to really effect events around her with any degree of control and she undergoes a great deal of bad luck not of her own doing.


Tess of the D'Urbervilles (Wordsworth Hardback Library)
Tess of the D'Urbervilles (Wordsworth Hardback Library)
by Thomas Hardy
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Love, Injustice, seduction & murder., 25 Aug. 2016
A 19th century tale of passion, injustice, love, betrayal, seduction and murder.

The story is set in rural Victorian England and centres on a young female protagonist and her troubled life. Tess is brought up in a large improvised household and she is a rather underprivileged though not unhappy girl. The early details of rural life during the summer and the close-knit community in which Tess lives really stands out, Hardy knew how to paint a picture through words. There's a lovely scene of a community dance taking place in the fields. Three middleclass young brothers trekking through the countryside happen to be passing, one stops for a dance, though not with Tess before quickly leaving.
The condition of the family worsens when her father takes to drink and the family horse is killed in an accident. Tess is whisked off to make money for the family by working for a rich distant relation, her mother hopes marriage to a wealthy gentleman might be the answer to all their woes.

Tess’s character when we first meet her is very sweet and honest, both trustworthy and trusting. She is a good daughter to her parents and shares the responsibility of looking after her siblings as the eldest one. She’s described as a big girl, bewitchingly beautiful in a pure rustic kind of way. The ideal kind of femininity back then was for a lady to be small and slight, to wear elegant dresses and basically to stay indoors, you’ll find lots of these in Dickens, Kippling, Doyle and even Austen. Tess doesn’t conform to this model, the female protagonist Hardy created was a subtle challenge for any reader at the time.

Tess quickly catches the attention of Alec D’Uuberville the rich young arrogant bad boy of the neighbourhood. Tess immediately feels uncomfortable in his company and especially with his unwelcome advances but she feels unable to leave while her family’s financial future depends on her. She lacks the skills or assertiveness to deal with him while Alec often insists he is only being playful and wouldn’t hurt her, he also spends time buying gifts, including a new horse for her family giving her confused feelings towards him and not wanting to appear ungrateful. In 21st vocabulary we might say the word grooming applies here when describing his behaviour. One night he finally gets her alone after they become lost in the woods on the way back from a party.

The next day Tess heads back to her family home in disgrace, she reprimands Alec for his cruel behaviour and Alec agrees with her that he is a bad man though he does offer to help her if she ever finds herself in need.

Tess confines herself to her childhood bedroom as whispers about her spread across the village, she draws into a state of isolation and depression as a result of what’s she’s been through and how people have judged her. Even in church the one place she ought to be free from judgement and scorn she feels everyone’s eyes on her and hears the whispering going on. The following summer she gives birth to a sickly baby who quickly dies. Tess has spends time recovering before leaving her family again to travel to a new village to look for work. This period marks a bright spot for her, she quickly befriends three milkmaids as well as impressing the farm owner with her hard work and skills. The summer draws on and life seems idyllic on the farm. Love also appears on the horizon in the shape of a handsome affluent young man called Angel who first appeared near the beginning of the novel. All three milkmaids are also in love with him but it’s Tess who he grows closer too. In spite of his clerical upbringing Angel is a self-styled free thinker who rejects religious orthodoxy. Tess feels she has met somebody much more understanding that others and must decide whether she can tell him the truth about her past. Will he still be able to love her once she’s done so?

To put the story into context, society was deeply conservative in the time this was written, religion had a powerful hold over communities and society was split between the respectable type of people and then the rest, the drunks, the prostitutes, the unwed mothers, the sinful and dammed. The subtitle of the book is "a pure woman, faithfully presented." The book had many Victorian readers choking on their cornflakes with it's powerful critique of their society and double standards.

I've read the book a few times and thoroughly enjoyed each reading. The characters all feel plausible, real and each in their own way flawed. Alec returns later in the novel and his character becomes increasingly complex and layered. The book also explores the industrialisation taking place across the country and the vanishing traditions of rural life. There's more than a touch of melancholia about this for the author. Nature at times seems to operate as a force throughout the novel, reflecting our characters moods. The novel also feels fatalistic too, Tess is not able to really effect events around her with any degree of control and she undergoes a great deal of bad luck not of her own doing.


Tess of the D'Urbervilles (Penguin Classics) Reissue Edition by Hardy, Thomas published by Addison Wesley (2003) Paperback
Tess of the D'Urbervilles (Penguin Classics) Reissue Edition by Hardy, Thomas published by Addison Wesley (2003) Paperback
by Thomas Hardy
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Love, Injustice, seduction & murder., 25 Aug. 2016
A 19th century tale of passion, injustice, love, betrayal, seduction and murder.

The story is set in rural Victorian England and centres on a young female protagonist and her troubled life. Tess is brought up in a large improvised household and she is a rather underprivileged though not unhappy girl. The early details of rural life during the summer and the close-knit community in which Tess lives really stands out, Hardy knew how to paint a picture through words. There's a lovely scene of a community dance taking place in the fields. Three middleclass young brothers trekking through the countryside happen to be passing, one stops for a dance, though not with Tess before quickly leaving.
The condition of the family worsens when her father takes to drink and the family horse is killed in an accident. Tess is whisked off to make money for the family by working for a rich distant relation, her mother hopes marriage to a wealthy gentleman might be the answer to all their woes.

Tess’s character when we first meet her is very sweet and honest, both trustworthy and trusting. She is a good daughter to her parents and shares the responsibility of looking after her siblings as the eldest one. She’s described as a big girl, bewitchingly beautiful in a pure rustic kind of way. The ideal kind of femininity back then was for a lady to be small and slight, to wear elegant dresses and basically to stay indoors, you’ll find lots of these in Dickens, Kippling, Doyle and even Austen. Tess doesn’t conform to this model, the female protagonist Hardy created was a subtle challenge for any reader at the time.

Tess quickly catches the attention of Alec D’Uuberville the rich young arrogant bad boy of the neighbourhood. Tess immediately feels uncomfortable in his company and especially with his unwelcome advances but she feels unable to leave while her family’s financial future depends on her. She lacks the skills or assertiveness to deal with him while Alec often insists he is only being playful and wouldn’t hurt her, he also spends time buying gifts, including a new horse for her family giving her confused feelings towards him and not wanting to appear ungrateful. In 21st vocabulary we might say the word grooming applies here when describing his behaviour. One night he finally gets her alone after they become lost in the woods on the way back from a party.

The next day Tess heads back to her family home in disgrace, she reprimands Alec for his cruel behaviour and Alec agrees with her that he is a bad man though he does offer to help her if she ever finds herself in need.

Tess confines herself to her childhood bedroom as whispers about her spread across the village, she draws into a state of isolation and depression as a result of what’s she’s been through and how people have judged her. Even in church the one place she ought to be free from judgement and scorn she feels everyone’s eyes on her and hears the whispering going on. The following summer she gives birth to a sickly baby who quickly dies. Tess has spends time recovering before leaving her family again to travel to a new village to look for work. This period marks a bright spot for her, she quickly befriends three milkmaids as well as impressing the farm owner with her hard work and skills. The summer draws on and life seems idyllic on the farm. Love also appears on the horizon in the shape of a handsome affluent young man called Angel who first appeared near the beginning of the novel. All three milkmaids are also in love with him but it’s Tess who he grows closer too. In spite of his clerical upbringing Angel is a self-styled free thinker who rejects religious orthodoxy. Tess feels she has met somebody much more understanding that others and must decide whether she can tell him the truth about her past. Will he still be able to love her once she’s done so?

To put the story into context, society was deeply conservative in the time this was written, religion had a powerful hold over communities and society was split between the respectable type of people and then the rest, the drunks, the prostitutes, the unwed mothers, the sinful and dammed. The subtitle of the book is "a pure woman, faithfully presented." The book had many Victorian readers choking on their cornflakes with it's powerful critique of their society and double standards.

I've read the book a few times and thoroughly enjoyed each reading. The characters all feel plausible, real and each in their own way flawed. Alec returns later in the novel and his character becomes increasingly complex and layered. The book also explores the industrialisation taking place across the country and the vanishing traditions of rural life. There's more than a touch of melancholia about this for the author. Nature at times seems to operate as a force throughout the novel, reflecting our characters moods. The novel also feels fatalistic too, Tess is not able to really effect events around her with any degree of control and she undergoes a great deal of bad luck not of her own doing.


Tess of the D'Urbervilles: A Pure Woman (Penguin Classics) by Hardy, Thomas ( 2003 )
Tess of the D'Urbervilles: A Pure Woman (Penguin Classics) by Hardy, Thomas ( 2003 )

5.0 out of 5 stars Tragedy, love, betrayel and murder., 25 Aug. 2016
A 19th century tale of passion, injustice, love, betrayal, seduction and murder.

The story is set in rural Victorian England and centres on a young female protagonist and her troubled life. Tess is brought up in a large improvised household and she is a rather underprivileged though not unhappy girl. The early details of rural life during the summer and the close-knit community in which Tess lives really stands out, Hardy knew how to paint a picture through words. There's a lovely scene of a community dance taking place in the fields. Three middleclass young brothers trekking through the countryside happen to be passing, one stops for a dance, though not with Tess before quickly leaving.
The condition of the family worsens when her father takes to drink and the family horse is killed in an accident. Tess is whisked off to make money for the family by working for a rich distant relation, her mother hopes marriage to a wealthy gentleman might be the answer to all their woes.

Tess’s character when we first meet her is very sweet and honest, both trustworthy and trusting. She is a good daughter to her parents and shares the responsibility of looking after her siblings as the eldest one. She’s described as a big girl, bewitchingly beautiful in a pure rustic kind of way. The ideal kind of femininity back then was for a lady to be small and slight, to wear elegant dresses and basically to stay indoors, you’ll find lots of these in Dickens, Kippling, Doyle and even Austen. Tess doesn’t conform to this model, the female protagonist Hardy created was a subtle challenge for any reader at the time.

Tess quickly catches the attention of Alec D’Uuberville the rich young arrogant bad boy of the neighbourhood. Tess immediately feels uncomfortable in his company and especially with his unwelcome advances but she feels unable to leave while her family’s financial future depends on her. She lacks the skills or assertiveness to deal with him while Alec often insists he is only being playful and wouldn’t hurt her, he also spends time buying gifts, including a new horse for her family giving her confused feelings towards him and not wanting to appear ungrateful. In 21st vocabulary we might say the word grooming applies here when describing his behaviour. One night he finally gets her alone after they become lost in the woods on the way back from a party.

The next day Tess heads back to her family home in disgrace, she reprimands Alec for his cruel behaviour and Alec agrees with her that he is a bad man though he does offer to help her if she ever finds herself in need.

Tess confines herself to her childhood bedroom as whispers about her spread across the village, she draws into a state of isolation and depression as a result of what’s she’s been through and how people have judged her. Even in church the one place she ought to be free from judgement and scorn she feels everyone’s eyes on her and hears the whispering going on. The following summer she gives birth to a sickly baby who quickly dies. Tess has spends time recovering before leaving her family again to travel to a new village to look for work. This period marks a bright spot for her, she quickly befriends three milkmaids as well as impressing the farm owner with her hard work and skills. The summer draws on and life seems idyllic on the farm. Love also appears on the horizon in the shape of a handsome affluent young man called Angel who first appeared near the beginning of the novel. All three milkmaids are also in love with him but it’s Tess who he grows closer too. In spite of his clerical upbringing Angel is a self-styled free thinker who rejects religious orthodoxy. Tess feels she has met somebody much more understanding that others and must decide whether she can tell him the truth about her past. Will he still be able to love her once she’s done so?

To put the story into context, society was deeply conservative in the time this was written, religion had a powerful hold over communities and society was split between the respectable type of people and then the rest, the drunks, the prostitutes, the unwed mothers, the sinful and dammed. The subtitle of the book is "a pure woman, faithfully presented." The book had many Victorian readers choking on their cornflakes with it's powerful critique of their society and double standards.

I've read the book a few times and thoroughly enjoyed each reading. The characters all feel plausible, real and each in their own way flawed. Alec returns later in the novel and his character becomes increasingly complex and layered. The book also explores the industrialisation taking place across the country and the vanishing traditions of rural life. There's more than a touch of melancholia about this for the author. Nature at times seems to operate as a force throughout the novel, reflecting our characters moods. The novel also feels fatalistic too, Tess is not able to really effect events around her with any degree of control and she undergoes a great deal of bad luck not of her own doing.


The natural sciences know nothing of evolution
The natural sciences know nothing of evolution
by A. E Wilder-Smith
Edition: Paperback

2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars, 23 Aug. 2016
Creationist propaganda.


The Physics of Star Trek
The Physics of Star Trek
by Lawrence Krauss
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 22 Aug. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Fun and informative.


Job Interviews: Top Answers to Tough Questions
Job Interviews: Top Answers to Tough Questions
by John Lees
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars great value for money., 22 Aug. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A really good overview of typical questions bought up in interviews. With job security becoming increasingly rare these days and the recruitment process becoming increasingly formal this is a very useful book to have by your side. The book covers what questions will likely be asked, what the questioner is really getting at and the best kinds of responses to give. It also provides tips on timing, structure and following things up.


Legend Of The Lost [DVD]
Legend Of The Lost [DVD]
Dvd ~ John Wayne

2.0 out of 5 stars Slow and flat with poor pacing., 21 Aug. 2016
This review is from: Legend Of The Lost [DVD] (DVD)
Slow, flat with poor pacing and the romance between Wayne and Loren seems very forced and unnatural.


The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (Wordsworth Classics)
The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (Wordsworth Classics)
by Victor Hugo
Edition: Paperback
Price: £1.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A Rich and fascinating storyy, 21 Aug. 2016
One of the finest novels I've read. The language is beautiful and highly descriptive, the story is richly imagined and well paced with interesting complex and tragic characters.
The themes are pretty heavy, sin, damnation, hell, lust and above all the curse of ugliness and beauty in different ways. I've yet to see an adaptation that doesn't try to water down or rewrite the ending. The Wordsworth translation reads very well.


The Land Where Lemons Grow: The Story of Italy and its Citrus Fruit
The Land Where Lemons Grow: The Story of Italy and its Citrus Fruit
by Helena Attlee
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Well written, lucid and packed full of detail, 19 Aug. 2016
Well written, lucid and packed full of detail. The sections on the use of lemon to combat survey and the rise of the mafia in the Conca D'oro were really interesting to me. You don't need to be a fruit or garden enthusiast to enjoy this read. The book is very accessible and provides lots of contrasts between past and present. The book focuses quite heavily on the rise and fall of citrus cultivation in Sicily, especially around Palermo. The tone seems sad at the end, that this business has come to an end, I found this odd though as a few pages earlier she was describing how all the profit from the fruit selling was going directly to the Mafia.
The book has been well researched and makes great use of first hand accounts dating back to the 19th, 18th and 17th century, sometimes even older.


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