Watch Tess of the D'urbervilles

Tess found through her eccentric father that the family lineage was from the D'urbervilles, of the old aristocracy. Finding out this information drove the Derbyfield family to send Tess to the D'urberville Mansion to offer her services, as she is a known relative.

The first encounter Tess makes is with Alec, of the Stokes from his father's side. Alec's mother is the lady of the house and carries all authority with the goings on. Alec seems enamored with Tess and grows more determined to have her with each brush off she gives him.

Things come to a head when Alec accosts Tess in a wooded field where no one could hear her screams and cries for help. Discomfited, Tess leaves the D'urbervilles and soon conceives a son. The family shame and embarrassment did not permit them to allow Tess to call a Parson to read last rights over the child who was deathly ill. The child was refused a Christian burial. The child was buried in a makeshift grave and named Sorrow.

BBC America
1 Season, 4 Episodes
September 14, 2008
Cast: Gemma Arterton, Eddie Redmayne, Ruth Jones, Hans Matheson
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Tess of the D'urbervilles Full Episode Guide

  • Through a cruelly bitter winter, Tess continues to work on the farm. Alec, who seems to have replaced any religious fervour he once had with a passion for Tess alone, continues to plague her with his relentless attention.

  • John Durbeyfield, a 'haggler' and a drunk, is weaving his way one afternoon towards the pub when he meets the village priest, Parson Tringham. The priest informs him that his family have distinguished ancestry. They are descended from the d'Urbervilles, a wealthy, though now extinct, clan.

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