Hardy watches over Tess like a stricken victim, he
is as tender to Tess as Tess is to the world. Tender
and helpless - Irving Howe
Into his story of a simple but beautiful country girl's
seduction by another man which causes her husband to leave her on their wedding night and thereby
precipitates a course of events that ends in murder, Hardy wove a luminous tenderness and longing.
'I have never been able to put on paper all that she
is, or was to me,' he said.
In defying convention and making a milkmaid the
subject of tragedy, Hardy gave rein to his feeling for
landscape and rural life - its harshness, seasonal
rhythms and reminders of death and resurrection
- and endows them with a brooding symbolism and