Tess of the D’urbervilles

Author: Thomas Hardy  | Date: 1891

Explanatory Note to the First Edition

THE main portion of the following story appeared- with slight modifications- in the "Graphic" newspaper; other chapters, more especially addressed to adult readers, in the "Fortnightly Review" and the "National Observer," as episodic sketches. My thanks are tendered to the editors and proprietors of those periodicals for enabling me now to piece the trunk and limbs of the novel together and print it complete, as originally written two years ago.

I will just add that the story is sent out in all sincerity of purpose, as an attempt to give artistic form to a true sequence of things; and in respect of the book’s opinions and sentiments, I would ask any too genteel reader, who cannot endure to have said what everybody nowadays thinks and feels, to remember a well-worn sentence of St. Jerome’s: If an offence come out of the truth, better is it that the offence come than that the truth be concealed.

T. H.

November, 1891


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Chicago: Thomas Hardy, "Explanatory Note to the First Edition," Tess of the D’urbervilles Original Sources, accessed May 19, 2024, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=A4BM4L66XSBQQFB.

MLA: Hardy, Thomas. "Explanatory Note to the First Edition." Tess of the D’urbervilles, Original Sources. 19 May. 2024. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=A4BM4L66XSBQQFB.

Harvard: Hardy, T, 'Explanatory Note to the First Edition' in Tess of the D’urbervilles. Original Sources, retrieved 19 May 2024, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=A4BM4L66XSBQQFB.