Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Tess of the d'Urbervilles

Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

Tess Derbyfield is the oldest daughter of peasants in a village in England. Her father learns their family is descended from a noble family. Tess' parents decide to send her to "claim kin" with the d'Urbervilles in a nearby town.

Once Tess arrives, she learns the d'Urbervilles bought the name and title and they are not related. However, Alec d'Urberville takes a shine to Tess and gives her a job managing the family's poultry farm. Alec eventually "has his way" with
Tess. She soon returns to her parents home and has a child who dies a week after birth.

Tess eventually winds up working on a dairy farm, where she meets Angel Clare. After persuasion, Tess agrees to marry him. After the wedding, Angel confesses an affair he'd been involved in. So Tess confesses her past. With the double standard of the day, Angel is unable to accept it. They separate while Angel tries to come to terms with her past.

Angel goes to Brazil to find good farm land. Tess tries to fend for herself until Angel sends for her. But life is hard for the rural poor and Tess has hard times to come.

1 comment:

Suey said...

This has always been one of my favorites!