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Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Tess of the D'Urbervilles

by Thomas Hardy

Tess of the D'Urbervilles Phase VI: "The Convert," Chapter Forty-Nine Summary

  • Tess's letter is addressed to Angel's parents, since they are the ones who had his current address in Brazil.
  • Mrs. Clare forwards it to Angel immediately, and hopes that it will make him hurry home for the visit he's been planning.
  • Mr. Clare still feels guilty about not allowing Angel to go to the university like his brothers, and blames himself for Angel's unhappy marriage.
  • Angel, meanwhile, has grown up an awful lot since he left for Brazil.
  • The fever he caught soon after arriving almost killed him, and he's still weak.
  • He's re-considering a lot of things he used to take for granted. He's decided that morality has more to do with your intentions than your actions. And Tess never intended to be raped, so was she still pure?
  • At one point, Angel meets another Englishman in Brazil, and they become friends.
  • Angel confides his whole story to the man, and the man tells Angel that deserting Tess was the dumbest move, ever.
  • The man dies shortly afterwards, but his words have a lasting effect on Angel.
  • He realizes how wrong he's been about Tess.
  • Tess, meanwhile, is convinced that Angel will soon come back in response to her letter, and so she starts thinking about what she can do to please him when he gets back.
  • She starts studying up on all the ballads and songs that he liked best, and daydreaming about life with Angel after his return.
  • One day in late March, her sister 'Liza-Lu shows up at her door, telling her that their mother is sick, and their father isn't doing well, either. And their father is refusing to work on account of his noble background.
  • Tess decides she has to go home, even though she's supposed to stick around until Old Lady Day (April 6).
  • 'Liza-Lu is too tired to head back that night (she's been walking all day), so Tess decides to let her sister spend the night in her bed, and follow her in the morning.
  • Tess herself leaves a message with Marian and Izz to try to excuse her to the farmer, and then sets out for home.

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