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Chapters 56, 57, 58, and 59

Chapter 56

The landlady of the house, Mrs. Brooks, is curious about how Angel's visit has affected the d'Urbervilles. She goes upstairs to spy on them, only to catch fleeting phrases of Tess' agony towards Alec, but fearing she is discovered, Mrs. Brooks heads back downstairs. In a little while, she sees Tess leave the house. Soon after, Mrs. Brooks notices a dripping patch on the parlor ceiling coming from upstairs and discovers that Alec has been murdered! The news of the murder spreads quickly throughout town.

Chapter 57

Angel arrives at the train station, but finding the next train too long to wait for, he continues walking on. Soon, he hears Tess running breathlessly behind him, who tells him that she has just killed Alec. She moans that she owed it to Angel and that she knew she would kill him someday for how he wronged her. The two fall into each other's arms, cooing words of love. He promises to protect her, even though he is shocked to hear about the crime.
They walk away, hand in hand, without a plan and Angel is true to his promise of providing and protecting her. They scheme to lay low for a little while and then head to the nearest port to leave the area. They walk a long way and rest for the evening in an empty house, visited only occasionally by a caretaker.

Chapter 58

During the night, Tess whispers to him about his sleepwalking incident but tells Angel that she only cares for the present moment, being next to him. Angel apologizes for his treatment of her, saying that he loves her dearly. They remain at the house for another day, but they fear being discovered by the caretaker and make their exit as soon as possible.
They walk until they arrive at Stonehenge, and the tired Tess falls asleep, unable to go on. Before she sleeps, Tess asks Angel to marry Liza-Lu after her death and provide for her and her family. During the night, the authorities discover them, and Tess is arrested for Alec's murder, despite Angel's attempts to hide her. He does convince them to let Tess sleep though, and when Tess wakes, she says that she is ready to go.

Chapter 59

Angel and Liza-Lu walk hand in hand and in silence away from the city of Wintoncester. From the road, they can see a tower, from which hangs a black flag, a signal that Tess has been put to death. The two pause to lament the sad fate of the d'Urbervilles before continuing on.

Browse all book notes

Historical Context
Main Characters
Points to Ponder
Did You Know
Plot Summary
Chapters 1, 2, and 3
Chapters 4, 5, and 6
Chapters 7, 8, and 9
Chapters 10 and 11
Chapters 12, 13, 14, and 15
Chapters 16, 17, and 18
Chapters 19, 20, and 21
Chapters 22, 23, and 24
Chapters 25, 26, and 27
Chapters 28, 29, and 30
Chapters 31 and 32
Chapters 33 and 34
Chapters 35, 36, and 37
Chapters 38, 39, and 40
Chapters 41, 42, 43, and 44
Chapters 45, 46, 47, and 48
Chapters 49, 50, 51, and 52
Chapters 53, 54, and 55
Chapters 56, 57, 58, and 59


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