In a chance meeting with Parson Tringham along the road one night, John Durbeyfield discovers that he is the descendent of the d'Urbervilles, an ancient, monied family who had land holdings as far back as William the Conqueror in Upon this discovery, the financially strapped Durbeyfield family learns of a nearby "relative," and John and his wife Joan send Tess to "claim kin" in order to alleviate their impoverished condition.
Chapter 1 Tess Durbeyfield lives in the rural village of Marlott in southwest England. She first appears performing the May-Day dance, where she exchanges a meaningful glance with a young man named Angel Clare.
Alec, the libertine son of old, blind, Mrs.
One night after a dance in the local town Alec tricks Tess into accepting a ride home with him. He gets lost in the woods and leaves to find the path. When he returns he finds Tess asleep, and he rapes her. She avoids the other townspeople out of shame. Her baby soon gets sick, and Tess worries about his soul.
She baptizes him herself, and names him Sorrow before he dies. She becomes a milkmaid at Talbothays dairy farm, and enjoys a time of contentment.
She befriends three other girls, Izz, Retty, and Marian, and discovers that the man from the May-Day dance, Angel Clare, is also working there. He is the son of a parson, but is at Talbothays to learn about farming methods. All four women soon fall in love with him, but he chooses Tess and they begin a period of courtship.
Angel asks her to marry him, but Tess refuses, feeling that she is not worthy of marriage. She is afraid to tell him the details of her past.
Angel returns home briefly and finds that his brothers, who are becoming parsons or deans, have grown more narrow-minded and disapproving.
Strengthened in his convictions, he goes back and renews his proposal to Tess.
She finally accepts, but is in constant turmoil. On their wedding night Angel admits that he had an affair with a woman in London, so Tess feels able to tell the truth about Alec.
Angel is shocked and unforgiving, and he becomes distraught thinking of what his family and society would say if they found out. He gives Tess some money and leaves to clear his mind. He decides to seek his fortunes in Brazil, and asks Tess to not follow him. She works at a bleak starveacre farm with Marian, who has started drinking since Angel rejected her.
When he sees Tess he becomes enamored once more, and quickly gives up Christianity to try and seduce her. Tess goes home to care for her mother, but soon afterward her father dies. The family is then evicted, and Alec offers to help them if Tess will return to him.
Meanwhile Angel, who has grown sick in Brazil, decides to come home and forgive Tess. When he finally finds her she is in a fancy boardinghouse, and she says it is too late for her, she has relented to Alec.
Angel leaves, stricken, and Tess argues with Alec, ultimately stabbing him to death. Tess and Angel then escape together, with Angel unsure if Tess actually committed murder.
They hide in an empty mansion and have a few happy days, but then move on.Get all the key plot points of Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles on one page.
From the creators of SparkNotes. A short summary of Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d’Urbervilles. This free synopsis covers all the crucial plot points of Tess of the d’Urbervilles.
Tess of the d'Urbervilles: A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented is a novel by Thomas Hardy. It initially appeared in a censored and serialised version, published by the British illustrated newspaper The Graphic in  and in book form in A short summary of Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d’Urbervilles.
This free synopsis covers all the crucial plot points of Tess of the d’Urbervilles. Read this article to know about the summary of Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Tess of the d'urbervilles chapter summary, Tess of the d'urbervilles short summary. John Durbeyfield is a poor man and is the father of Tess.
Thomas Hardy was born June 2, , in Higher Bockhampton, Dorset, England, not far from the principal settings of Tess of the D’Urbervilles. He was the eldest of four children. He was the eldest of four children.