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  • Published: 5 November 2007
  • ISBN: 9781405646796
  • Imprint: BBC DL
  • Format: Audio Download
  • Length: 3 hr 45 min
  • Narrator: Claire Rushbrook, Adam Godley, James D'Arcy, Keith Barron
  • Pages: 240

Tess of the D'Urbervilles




The story of Tess Durbeyfield, the most tragic of Thomas Hardy's heroines. Adapted by Alan Sharp for BBC Radio 4.

The story of Tess Durbeyfield, the most tragic of Thomas Hardy's heroines. Adapted by Alan Sharp for BBC Radio 4.

John Durbeyfield (Keith Barron) learns that he is descended from the aristocratic Norman family of d'Urbervilles. He encourages his daughter, Tess (Claire Rushbrook), to befriend the family of Stoke d'Urbervilles where she meets Alec d'Urberville (Adam Godley).

Tess is ultimately seduced by Alec and the effects of their affair creates dramatic ripples in Tess's life. In an attempt to make a fresh start, Tess begins work in Wessex at the Talbothay's farm where she encounters Angel Clare (James D'Arcy), the younger son of a parson, who asks her to marry him. Torn between her love for Angel and the events of her past, Tess is faced with the choice to confess all to Angel or bury the memories when an old face reappears culminating in the spiral of tragedies.

Director: Mary Peate
Music: Composed by Sylvia Hallett
Violin: Isabel Watson

  • Published: 5 November 2007
  • ISBN: 9781405646796
  • Imprint: BBC DL
  • Format: Audio Download
  • Length: 3 hr 45 min
  • Narrator: Claire Rushbrook, Adam Godley, James D'Arcy, Keith Barron
  • Pages: 240

About the author

Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy was born on 2 June 1840. His father was a stonemason. He was brought up near Dorchester and trained as an architect. In 1868 his work took him to St Juliot's church in Cornwall where he met his wife-to-be, Emma. His first novel, The Poor Man and the Lady, was rejected by publishers but Desperate Remedies was published in 1871 and this was rapidly followed by Under the Greenwood Tree (1872), A Pair of Blue Eyes (1873) and Far from the Madding Crowd (1874). He also wrote many other novels, poems and short stories. Tess of the D'Urbervilles was published in 1891. His final novel was Jude the Obscure (1895). Hardy was awarded the Order of Merit in 1920 and the gold medal of the Royal Society of Literature in 1912. His wife died in 1912 and he later married his secretary. Thomas Hardy died 11 January 1928.

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