August #Bookadayuk – Day 13

Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë, Pauline Nestor Tess of the d'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy


Well it’s not Lady Chatterley’s Lover, that’s for certain. What a tedious load of tripe that was.

And most of the other so-called ‘controversial’ books I’ve read have not lived up to the hype and are just going for shock value.

You all know where this is going don’t you? Yeah, back to the C19th, and a toss-up between Wuthering Heights and Tess of the D’Urbervilles.

Wuthering Heights was published in 1847 and was considered controversial because many critics thought a woman couldn’t and shouldn’t write so graphically about mental and physical cruelty. It also challenged the strict Victorian ideals of the day, such as religious hypocrisy, gender inequality, and the class system.

Tess of the D’Urbervilles was published in 1891. With its subtitle “A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented”, it too challenged the Victorian morality of the day, by bringing attention to the sexual double standards where a raped woman is shunned by society for losing her virginity before she is married.


So yay for Emily and Thomas for proving there's more to being controversial than just writing excruciating sex scenes and using lots of profanities.