First published serially in 1891 in “The Graphic”, an illustrated British newspaper, “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” is one of the last novels written by Thomas Hardy. It is the titular story of Teresa “Tess” Durbeyfield, the oldest child of John and Joan Durbeyfield. The Durbeyfields are a poor family living in rural England who are led to believe by a local parson that they may actually be related to the d’Urbervilles, a noble Norman family. Trying to capitalize on this knowledge the Durbeyfields send a reluctant Tess to work at the d’Urberville’s estate, a rural mansion in the nearby town of Trantridge. Tess is able to secure a position as a poultry keeper on the estate when she draws the interest of the family’s libertine son, Alec. Tess dislikes Alec but endures his unwanted advances in order to help her family, a compromise that will ultimately lead to her ruin. Because it challenged the sexual morals of late Victorian England, “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” was harshly criticized following its initial publication, however since that time it has come be regarded by many as Thomas Hardy’s fictional masterpiece.