Book Reviews

So many books (you know the rest)

Tess of the D'Urbervilles
by Thomas Hardy
Published in 1891 (I finished it on November 05, 2010)

A classic or not, I had never heard of this book until I was auditing an AP English Class during grad school. Since I’d never taken AP English, I wasn’t exposed to it. But I figured it must have some valid importance to warrant reading within the program. When I saw it at Borders months later, I picked up a copy.

It’s rather shocking, not in today’s terms, but when considered during the time period it was written: late nineteenth-century. One might say it’s very anti-establishment and involves some very serious themes. Granted, nothing is graphic; however, implications are often just as strong, even more so when her age is considered.

Overall, I enjoyed it. One can get an idea of the rather difficult farming and dairy farm life during that period. That said, when compared with the alternative of leaving the farm and taking up factory work (as in The Jungle), the former seems downright paradisiacal.

 I read the Barnes & Noble Classic edition, which has an odd error in a footnote. The word Pandemonium is used in the book, and the footnote explains the origin of “pan” as pertaining to the crafty god of the woods. However, the “pan” is actually relating to the word “many” and is combined with “demons” (many demons). It is the name of a building that Milton simply made-up in Paradise Lost. Not sure where the editor got his definition from. Perhaps he also simply made it up.