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Posted by flutegeek on 2006.05.16 at 22:44
Here is a tale of woe which involves Tess d'Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy. I was told, in my first year of University that it was a fantastic book... and absolute must-read. Last summer, I was thrilled to discover it in "The Wee Book Inn", a fantastic local used book store for only $1.50!!! How could I go wrong? Little did I know how completely wrong this book would go (cue ominous music).
Basically, I was treated to the classic, formulaic, Victorian novel. If you've read Jane Eyre, Age of Innocence and Wurthington Heights... hey... you've read them all.
Thus, I have crafted my guide to writing a victorian novel:

1)A girl/maid (whom is usually poor) has her honour besmirched in some way. Sometimes, by her poverty alone, other times by an evil relative who makes her work as a servant, other times (like in Tess) by a very jerky man.
2)She spends some time in shame/poverty as a result.
3) She meets "the right man" who makes things basically ok. (Except in Tess, because he rejected her and then she commited murder so he married her sister?!?!?!?!).
..I HATE victorian novels.....


krystoff_wombat at 2006-05-17 20:23 (UTC) (Link)

Is it really that bad?

I like your summary very much. Especially the use of the word "besmirched."

After reading Owen Meaney, I'm a little disappointed to hear Hardy doesn't live up to the standards set for him by Mr. Irving.

Well, at least he plays with the conventions, if only a little.

I was planning on reading Tess, I've heard it's one of his best. Would it be a terrible, unredeeming mistake to give it a try?
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