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Summary

When Tess Durbeyfield is driven by family poverty to claim kinship with the wealthy D'Urbervilles and to seek a portion of their family fortune, meeting her cousin Alec proves to be her downfall. A very different man, Angel Clare, seems to offer her love and salvation, but Tess must choose whether to reveal her past or remain silent in the hope of a peaceful future.

Thomas Hardy’s timeless masterpiece is brought to life in this new recording by Anne-Marie Duff (Shameless, His Dark Materials).   

With its sensitive depiction of the wronged Tess and powerful criticism of social convention, Tess of the D'Urbervilles is one of the most moving and poetic novels of all time.

Public Domain (P)2020 Audible, Ltd

Behind the scenes

Anne-Marie Duff on narrating Tess.
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What listeners say about Tess of the D'Urbervilles

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Thoroughly enjoyed

The struggles and injustice suffered by Tess, and the highs and lows of her unjustly tarnished life make for a fabulous story, some glorious evocative scenes and some heart rending moments for the reader. Loved it!

3 people found this helpful

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Exquisite

A beautiful and moving narration of a wonderful work of literature. Anne Marie Duff gives an exquisite performance of the accents , emotion and songs. Her Tess was vulnerable, naive and resilient

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Almost perfect

Anne-Marie Duff is just brilliant at bringing Tess and her sad story to life. It’s heartbreaking and tough to listen in places, but a wonderful reading.

1 person found this helpful

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Beautifully told and written

I actually listened to this over a long period of time in part but the last two thirds more quickly. It was interesting at all times, was beautifully written and delivered and I enjoyed it immensely, accepting its at times depressing subject matter!

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An absolute must!

This is an incredible novel and such a shame that it’s prescribed reading for high school children. 15 years after I was forced to read it for school (and didn’t) I have found such an appreciation for this literary masterpiece. It’s by no means a happy story so if you’re looking for a feel good experience, go to Jane Austen instead!

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A must read

A deeply moving, compassionate and beautifully written novel. I finished this in two days. Great performance Anne-Marie Duff.

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Excellent performance

Excellently written, though a tragic storyline. The performance of the narrator made it a truly fantastic book to listen to.

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A beautiful story beautifully read

My favourite story of love, tragedy & love brought to life by Anne-Marie Duff.

The characterisation was excellent, the accents authentic bringing the book to life.

Listening to this at 0.9x was the perfect speed. It enriched my imagination and made the experience last longer. Definitely an audible book to keep and listen to again and again.

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A classic brought to life

The wonderful, sad, classic novel with a superb performance from Anne-Marie Duff. Highly recommended indeed.

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Beautiful narration of a tragic tale!

I read this years ago as a teenager but couldn’t remember it apart from the main characters even on hearing it. I think the delicate complexities in Hardys writing style, certainly for me, made it much more meaningful & moving having life experience of my own now. Also, even though times have changed I still felt the themes running through the story of sexual inequality & socioeconomic status are still extremely relevant and made me question ‘how much have things really changed’?

I found that I preferred the speed reduced to 0.9x or had to keep rewinding it but I think maybe that’s because I read quite slow but what a marvellous job Anne-Marie Duff did at the narration, from the accents, the different characters and the beautifully sweet singing of little folk songs throughout x I really hope she does more soon.

All in all, a tragic story of the injustices of love, perfectly written & wonderfully narrated I loved every minute of it by chapter 2 (stick with it till then!) and listened completely enraptured. I would highly recommend 10/10

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  • BookLover
  • 13-01-22

Amazing

Loved it. Humbling in its beauty. Unexpected ending (I've never seen the movie). A romance...a thriller...a masterpiece.

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  • Barbara Williford
  • 09-04-21

A must read!

What an amazing read! My head is still reeling from this book and the unfortunate ending. First, this is a well written book with vivid detail. It is a book I could not put down.

Tess is unfortunately born into poverty, a family too large to support, a father who has grandiose ideas of himself and his hereditary and feels entitled and thus does very little to support the family. It is up to Tess, the eldest daughter to support the family. Her mother encourages her to endear herself to a “wealthy relation” which leads to sweet, innocent Tess’ societal downfall.

Just when you think she can overcome her past and find true happiness, the blows of life keep coming. The ending is not expected.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 25-03-21

Phenomenal narration!

Anne-Marie just brims with compassion. Her amazing voice captures all the emotions throughout the story. So far this has been the only narration capable of rendering Tess alive and relatable. Definitely recommend it for anyone who has not yet been heartbroken by this tragic masterpiece.

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  • Quiana Taylor
  • 01-03-21

Ugh. This dim witted girl.

You so want to love them but at halfway the main secret is still yet on the tip of her tounge and the simple minded man would interrupt everything. Like hush. Let her tell you. Interesting story tho

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 19-01-21

Excellent Performance

I loved this performance. What a sweet and heartbreaking story! Highly recommend this version and the book overall. Makes a person think about what women have endured for centuries.