In Tess, Tennant offers us an interpretation of Hardy's novel that places the real women in the author's life at its centre. Tess is based on Hardy's real-life obsession with a milkmaid named Augusta Way, who became the model for his tragic heroine Tess of the D'Urbervilles, and Augusta's daughter, Gertrude Bugler, who played Tess in Hardy's stage adaptation of the book. Set in the late Sixties, the spirit of the doomed Tess lives on in a pair of sisters - plain-faced Liza Lu and another dark, beautiful Tess.

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