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Tess of the D'Urbervilles
by Thomas Hardy
Angel Clare Timeline and Summary
Angel sees Tess on the village green, but doesn't dance with her. He decides to become a farmer, since his doubts about organized religion make him hesitant about becoming a minister like his father. Angel goes from farm to farm to get practical experience before buying his own farm. He's spending the year at Talbothays Dairy to learn about dairy farming when he meets Tess. They fall in love, and he persuades her to marry him. On their wedding night, Tess tells him about her past. He's horrified that the real Tess should be so different from his idealized, spiritualized version of her. He leaves her at her parents' house to go figure things out on his own. While he's in Brazil, he gets very sick and almost dies, and realizes just how wrong he was about Tess. He finally gets back to England, where he receives Tess's letters begging him to come to her. He catches up with her in Sandbourne, where she has already become Alec's mistress. He leaves her hotel in despair. She catches up with him, and tells him that she's murdered Alec. They run away together to escape the authorities. He manages to hide her for several days, but they're finally caught at Stonehenge, and Tess is arrested. He lingers outside the prison in the county capitol of Wintoncester with Tess's younger sister, 'Liza-Lu, as Tess is executed.