This is the first in an occasional series where I am going to risk ridicule and tell you which books and authors I really ought to have read but haven’t.

I am enjoying the new BBC adaptation of Tess of the D’Urbervilles immensely and it’s young star Gemma Arterton is just the part with her Pre-Raphaelite tresses. Here comes my first confession – I’ve never read it. In fact I have never read any Thomas Hardy.

I was talking about this to a friend yesterday and she recommended her favourite which is also one of his darkest – Jude the Obscure. I’m determined to make amends by reading some Hardy so should I take a deep breath and start with Jude, or can you suggest another to me …

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