Tess of the DUrbervilles
Thomas Hardy
Contributed by Harvey Landy
Chapter 15
Summary

Times are tough, but Tess is unwilling to apply to d’Urberville for help. She thinks over all the unfortunate days in her past and wonders when the last one, her date of death, will arrive. Tess’ tribulations have matured her quickly, from an innocent girl to a troubled woman. Even home is no longer a comfort to her, with her family’s unsuccessful attempts to claim kin universally known. Tess knows she cannot stay, and coincidentally, a letter arrives from a family friend announcing an opening for a milkmaid at a dairyhouse some miles below Marlott. Though Tess wishes for an even farther escape, she seizes the opportunity to be just plain dairymaid Tess, and not scorned Tess d’Urberville. Unfortunately, even the dairy is not without its reminders of the past. It is located in Talbothays, which stands next to the old d’Urberville estates and vaults. Tess resolves that they will be useful reminders of her downfall, and a sense of excitement seizes her at the thought of the new surroundings.

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