Did it never strike your mind that what every woman says some women may feel?

Summary: A poor country girl discovers that she may be descended from nobility.

The Perfect Drink: A glass of fresh, creamy (and full fat) milk would work best here – after all, Tess meets Angel Clare while she’s working as a dairymaid. Milk has a pure, simple flavour with a hint of sweetness, but it’s easily spoiled and soured. It’s the perfect match for a book that raises questions about innocence, purity and corruption.

The Perfect Snack: We think that Tess of the D’Urbervilles should be paired with freshly baked white bread, thickly spread with cold butter and blackberry jam. It’s a simple, rustic snack that evokes a rural idyll of baking, churning, and berry picking. At the same time the jam – deep purple, clotted with fruit – is slightly sharp and carries more than a hint of bloodiness. Follow with a dish of temptingly plump, sweet strawberries, like those Alec feeds to Tess.

The Perfect Place: A long, scorchingly hot summer’s day in the countryside.

How would you read Tess of the D’Urbervilles? Let us know in the comments below! We’d love to hear from you.

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