Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
- Full Title: Tess of the d'Urbervilles: A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented
- When Written: 1887-1891
- Where Written: Dorchester, England
- When Published: 1891
- Literary Period: Victorian Realism
- Genre: Realist Fiction
- Setting: Southwest England, the fictional county of Wessex
- Climax: Tess murders Alec and flees with Angel
- Antagonist: Alec d'Urberville, society in general
- Point of View: Third person omniscient, but generally follows Tess
Wessex. Hardy named his fictional “Wessex County” after the Anglo-Saxon kingdom that existed in southwest England in medieval times. Since his resurrection of the name, it has become a popular modern term to describe the region, and there is now even a Wessex Regionalist political party.
Graphic. Tess of the d'Urbervilles was first published in a serialized, censored version in the illustrated newspaper The Graphic. No other publishers would take it because of the novel's sexual themes.