Tess Durbeyfield, a simple, pure peasant girl and cast-off descendant of English aristocracy, has become one of the most famous female protagonists in British literature. She is the heart and soul of the novel Thomas Hardy considered to be his greatest work. Betrayed by the two men in her life - Alec d'Urberville, her seducer/rapist and father of her fated child, and Angel, her intellectual and pious husband - Tess is very much a victim of her society. She is bound by social and gender constraints until she takes justice, and her own destiny, into her delicate hands. From the very first sight of the child with her hair done in ribbons, to the image of the womanly Tess lying like a lamb on the altar at Stonehenge, Hardy brings Tess to life with an extraordinary vividness that makes her live in the heart of the reader long after the novel is concluded.