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Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Tess of the D'Urbervilles


by Thomas Hardy

Alec D'Urberville Timeline and Summary

  • Alec sees Tess for the first time when she appears at his estate of The Slopes as his distant relative.
  • (He chooses not to tell her that he's not actually a D'Urberville by blood.)
  • Alec lusts heartily after Tess.
  • She goes home, and he sends a letter inviting her to come and work for his mother.
  • When she arrives, he deliberately frightens her by driving the cart too fast.
  • He makes her feel how dependent she is on him so that she'll grow to trust him.
  • He gives her a ride home from town late at night when she was getting harassed by fellow farm workers, and takes her for a ramble through the forest.
  • He gets lost, and leaves her by herself while he goes out to reconnoiter.
  • When he comes back, he finds her asleep under the trees, and rapes her.
  • He's feels a bit guilty about it later, especially when Tess leaves Trantridge to go home.
  • Alec makes fun of the Reverend Clare, who tries to convert him.
  • Alec is, finally, converted by the Reverend Clare, and becomes a wandering preacher.
  • He sees Tess in passing while giving a sermon in a village.
  • He becomes obsessed with her again, and after a brief struggle, gives up on being a preacher to start stalking her.
  • When her father dies and the family is destitute and on the verge of homelessness, he steps in to offer a cottage on his estate.
  • He persuades her that Angel will never come back, so she should live with him as his mistress.
  • When Angel does come back, Tess stabs Alec in the heart and kills him.