Analysis: Steaminess Rating
Exactly how steamy is this story?
R (In Victorian England)
There's a whole lot of sex in this novel. In fact, the novel was considered too risqué when it was first written, and Hardy had a hard time finding a publisher willing to print it. He finally had to compromise, and take out some of the more sexual scenes.
After all, the whole tragedy starts when Tess is raped by Alec D'Urberville. And Tess herself is so attractive and voluptuous that early reviewers of the novel had to fan themselves with the pages of the magazine as they read it. She was seen as too hot to be proper material for youthful readers.