Re-imaginings of myth in the landscapes of Thomas Hardy’s ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’

Myth Reading Group

Thursday 01 March

12.00-1.30pm in Room 3.411

We are very pleased to announce that Robert William Allen continues our discussion of Trees & Forests with a session on Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles


‘Tess flung herself upon the undergrowth of rustling spear-grass as upon a bed’: Illustration by E. Borough Johnson published in the serial issue of Tess of D’Urbervilles in The Graphic  (1891), in The Victorian Web

This week, we will discuss some of the ways in which Hardy incorporates elements of myth into his novel, paying particular attention to his figuration of landscape. In addition to selected extracts from Tess of the D’Urbervilles [final part of Ch.X (from ‘Tess was indignant…’) & Ch. XI], we will consider Ovid’s account of the rape of Proserpina in the Metamorphoses (Book V, ll. 512 – 615), and Ted Hughes’ version of the passage in his Tales from Ovid [pp. 56-57].  For more extended reading from Hardy’s novel, it would be useful to read Chapters XLVII & XLVIII.


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