Tess, the eldest daughter of a poor carter in Marlott, goes to work for the rich d'Uberville family, where she becomes pregnant with the child of Alec, the d'Uberville's son. This action makes her a fallen woman, and leads to tragedy. Tess of the d'Urbervilles got mixed reception when it was published because it portrayed Tess sympathetically and challenged the prevailing sexual mores. A copy was burnt by the Bishop of Wakefield. Thomas Hardy was an English novelist, short-story writer, and poet. He destroyed the manuscript of his first, unplaced novel, but -- encouraged by mentor and friend George Meredith -- tried again. His important work took place in an area of southern England he called Wessex, named after the English kingdom that existed before the Norman Conquest.
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