Tess of the d'Urbervilles Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 39 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Tess of the d'Urbervilles.
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Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles begins with a seemingly insignificant incident: John Durbeyfield, a middle-aged peddler, is informed during a chance encounter on his way home one May evening that he is the descendent of an "ancient and knightly family," the d'Urbervilles. On learning this "useless piece of information," "Sir John" has a horse and carriage fetched for him so that he can arrive home in a manner more befitting his new station. He then goes out drinking, getting so drunk that he is unable to get up In the middle of the night to make a delivery to a nearby town for the following morning. Tess, his oldest daughter, accompanied by her young brother Abraham attempts to make the delivery instead; but she falls asleep on the way, and the family's horse, unguided, gets into a grotesque freak...

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This section contains 1,682 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Tess of the d'Urbervilles Study Guide
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Novels for Students
Tess of the d'Urbervilles from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.