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Hardy's finest novel, written in most lyrical and atmospheric language. Set in the semi-fictional county of Wessex, the story follows life of a young woman who struggles to find her place in society. Tess, often viewed as an Earth goddess, and in Hardy's view, a truly good woman, is despised by society after loosing her virginity before marriage. A tale of seduction, love, betrayal, and murder. The book challenged the sexual norms of the day and was heavily censored when first published.