After an accident, Tess Durbeyfield, the daughter of impoverished peasants, decides to call on the aristocratic d'Urbervilles, as she believes that she is also descended from their ancient Norman lineage and that they can rescue her family from indigence. Unfortunately she is taken under the wing of the immoral libertine scion Alec d'Urberville, who seduces and scorns her. While she attempts to rebuild her life, she falls in love with the virtuous farmer Angel Clare and must find a way to defeat the demons of her past.
ABOUT THE SERIES: Alma Classics Evergreens is a series of popular classics. All the titles in the series are provided with an extensive critical apparatus, extra reading material including a section of photographs and notes. The texts are based on the most authoritative edition (or collated from the most authoritative editions or manuscripts) and edited using a fresh, intelligent editorial approach. With an emphasis on the production, editorial and typographical values of a book, Alma Classics aspires to revitalize the whole experience of reading the classics.
Anna Bentinck ratchets up the melodrama for this full-blooded reading of Hardy's classic a staple of high-school English classes everywhere. Students desperate to penetrate Hardy's notoriously slow masterpiece should turn to Bentinck, who gives it an intense emotional coloring. She makes Hardy sound like a brother to the Bront sisters: passionate and brooding. Bentinck alternates between a crisp, precise narrative voice that sounds like Helen Mirren, and Tess's own voice, quavering, shallow and meek. Bentinck retains her composure throughout, and her assured performance may be a welcome rescue for struggling 11th graders across the country.