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Amazon Drive Cloud storage from Amazon. Alexa Actionable Analytics for the Web. AmazonGlobal Ship Orders Internationally. However, she falls asleep at the reins, and the family's only horse encounters a speeding wagon and is fatally wounded.


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Tess feels so guilty over the horse's death and the economic consequences for the family that she agrees, against her better judgment, to visit Mrs d'Urberville, a rich widow who lives in a rural mansion near the town of Trantridge, and "claim kin". She is unaware that, in reality, Mrs d'Urberville's husband Simon Stoke adopted the surname even though he was unrelated to the real d'Urbervilles.

Tess does not succeed in meeting Mrs d'Urberville, but chances to meet her libertine son, Alec, who takes a fancy to Tess and secures her a position as poultry keeper on the estate. Although Tess tells them about her fear that he might try to seduce her, her parents encourage her to accept the job, secretly hoping that Alec might marry her. Tess dislikes Alec but endures his persistent unwanted attention to earn enough to replace her family's horse. Despite his often cruel and manipulative behaviour, the threat that Alec presents to Tess's virtue is sometimes obscured for Tess by her inexperience and almost daily commonplace interactions with him.

Late one night, walking home from town with some other Trantridge villagers, Tess inadvertently antagonizes Car Darch, Alec's most recently discarded favourite, and finds herself in physical danger. When Alec rides up and offers to "rescue" her from the situation, she accepts. Instead of taking her home, however, he rides through the fog until they reach an ancient grove in a forest called "The Chase", where he informs her that he is lost and leaves on foot to get his bearings. Alec returns to find Tess asleep, and it is implied that he rapes her.

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Mary Jacobus, a commentator on Hardy's works, speculates that the ambiguity may have been forced on the author to meet the requirements of his publisher and the " Grundyist " readership of his time. Tess goes home to her father's cottage, where she keeps almost entirely to her room, apparently feeling both traumatized and ashamed of having lost her virginity.

The following summer, she gives birth to a sickly boy who lives only a few weeks. On his last night alive, Tess baptises him herself, because her father would not allow the parson to visit, stating that he did not want the parson to "pry into their affairs". The child is given the name 'Sorrow', but despite the baptism Tess can only arrange his burial in the "shabby corner" of the churchyard reserved for unbaptised infants. Tess adds a homemade cross to the grave with flowers in an empty marmalade jar.


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More than two years after the Trantridge debacle, Tess, now twenty, has found employment outside the village, where her past is not known. She works for Mr. Crick as a milkmaid at Talbothays Dairy. There, she befriends three of her fellow milkmaids, Izz, Retty, and Marian, and meets again Angel Clare, now an apprentice farmer who has come to Talbothays to learn dairy management.

Although the other milkmaids are in love with him, Angel singles out Tess, and the two fall in love. Angel spends a few days away from the dairy, visiting his family at Emminster. His brothers Felix and Cuthbert, both ordained Church of England ministers, note Angel's coarsened manners, while Angel considers them staid and narrow-minded. The Clares have long hoped that Angel would marry Mercy Chant, a pious schoolmistress, but Angel argues that a wife who knows farm life would be a more practical choice.

He tells his parents about Tess, and they agree to meet her. His father, the Reverend James Clare, tells Angel about his efforts to convert the local populace, mentioning his failure to tame a young miscreant named Alec d'Urberville. Angel returns to Talbothays Dairy and asks Tess to marry him. This puts Tess in a painful dilemma: Angel obviously thinks her a virgin, and she shrinks from confessing her past. Such is her love for him, though, that she finally agrees to the marriage, pretending that she only hesitated because she had heard he hated old families and thought he would not approve of her d'Urberville ancestry.

However, he is pleased by this news because he thinks it will make their match more suitable in the eyes of his family. As the marriage approaches, Tess grows increasingly troubled. She writes to her mother for advice; Joan tells her to keep silent about her past. Her anxiety increases when a man from Trantridge, named Groby, recognises her and crudely alludes to her history. Angel overhears and flies into an uncharacteristic rage. Tess, deciding to tell Angel the truth, writes a letter describing her dealings with d'Urberville and slips it under his door. When Angel greets her with the usual affection the next morning, she thinks he has forgiven her; later she discovers the letter under his carpet and realises that he has not seen it.

The wedding ceremony goes smoothly, apart from the omen of a cock crowing in the afternoon. Tess and Angel spend their wedding night at an old d'Urberville family mansion, where Angel presents his bride with diamonds that belonged to his godmother.

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When he confesses that he once had a brief affair with an older woman in London, Tess finally feels able to tell Angel about Alec, thinking he will understand and forgive. However, Angel is appalled by the revelation, and makes it clear that Tess is reduced in his eyes. Although he admits that Tess was "more sinned against" than she has sinned herself, he feels that her "want of firmness" confronting Alec may indicate a flaw in her character and that she is no longer the woman he thought she was.

He spends the wedding night on a sofa. After a few awkward days, a devastated Tess suggests they separate, saying that she will return to her parents. Angel gives her some money and promises to try to reconcile himself to her past, but warns her not to try to join him until he sends for her. After a brief visit to his parents, Angel takes a ship to Brazil to see if he can start a new life there. Before he leaves, he encounters Tess's milkmaid friend Izz and impulsively asks her to come with him as his mistress.

She accepts, but when he asks her how much she loves him, she admits "Nobody could love 'ee more than Tess did! She would have laid down her life for 'ee. I could do no more!

Tess of the d'Urbervilles - Wikipedia

Tess returns home for a time. However, she soon runs out of money, having to help out her parents more than once. Finding her life with them unbearable, she decides to join Marian at a starve-acre farm called Flintcomb-Ash; they are later joined by Izz. On the road, she is again recognised and insulted by Groby, who later turns out to be her new employer. At the farm, the three former milkmaids perform hard physical labour.

One winter day, Tess attempts to visit Angel's family at the parsonage in Emminster, hoping for practical assistance. As she nears her destination, she encounters Angel's older brothers, with Mercy Chant. They do not recognise her, but she overhears them discussing Angel's unwise marriage, and dares not approach them. On the way back home, she overhears a wandering preacher and is shocked to discover that it is Alec d'Urberville, who has been converted to Methodism under the Reverend James Clare's influence.

Alec and Tess are each shaken by their encounter. Alec claims that she has put a spell on him and makes Tess swear never to tempt him again as they stand beside an ill-omened stone monument called the Cross-in-Hand. However, Alec continues to pursue her and soon comes to Flintcomb-Ash to ask Tess to marry him, although she tells him she is already married. He begins stalking her, despite repeated rebuffs, returning at Candlemas and again in early spring, when Tess is hard at work feeding a threshing machine.

He tells her he is no longer a preacher and wants her to be with him. When he insults Angel, she slaps him, drawing blood. Tess then learns from her sister, Liza-Lu, that her father, John, is ill and that her mother is dying. Tess rushes home to look after them. Her mother soon recovers, but her father unexpectedly dies from a heart condition. The impoverished family is now evicted from their home, as Durbeyfield held only a life lease on their cottage. Alec, having followed her to her home village, tries to persuade Tess that her husband is never coming back and offers to house the Durbeyfields on his estate.

Tess refuses his assistance several times.

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She had earlier written Angel a psalm-like letter, full of love, self-abasement, and pleas for mercy, in which she begs him to help her fight the temptation she is facing. Now, however, she finally begins to realize that Angel has wronged her and scribbles a hasty note saying that she will do all she can to forget him, since he has treated her so unjustly.

The Durbeyfields plan to rent some rooms in the town of Kingsbere, ancestral home of the d'Urbervilles, but arrive to find that the rooms have already been rented to another family. All but destitute, they are forced to take shelter in the churchyard, under the D'Urberville window. Tess enters the church and in the d'Urberville Aisle, Alec reappears and importunes Tess again.

The scene ends with her desperately looking at the entrance to the d'Urberville vault and wishing herself dead. In the meantime, Angel has been very ill in Brazil and, his farming venture having failed, heads home to England. On the way, he confides his troubles to a stranger, who tells him that he was wrong to leave his wife; what she was in the past should matter less than what she might become.

Angel begins to repent his treatment of Tess. Upon his return to his family home, Angel has two letters waiting for him: