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Chapters 1-11 The setting is in Wessex in the south of England during the late 1800s John Durbeyfields is on his way home after working as a haggler He encounters a local parson who tells him some family history The parson claims that The Durbeyfields are descended from the once famous dUrbervilles a wealthy family dating back to the time of William the Conqueror John gets very excited and runs home to tell the rest of his family about it After he tells his family about the good news Johns wife Joan devises a plan which will send Tess who is the oldest of the seven children to claim kin John gets drunk so Tess and her brother must deliver the beehives to the farmers market They take the family horse Prince While traveling to the market Tess and Abraham both fall asleep in the wagon and Prince wanders into the incoming lane of traffic Prince is killed when a mail cart hits him and the field wagon Joan introduces the plan to find their rich family members so that they could gain money or work Tess originally objects but since she feels guilty about the horse dying she relents and goes to find the dUrberville family Joan hatches the plan to send Tess off Joan leads it to John to decide and he says that he doesnt want to see his children doing things that they dont want to do Even with that Tess feels bad about the death of the horse so she aggress to visit the Stroke-dUrbervilles When she arrives at the home called The Slopes she is surprised at the age of the house being that the home was not old and established as she had expected As if that isnt enough for her Alec the son of Mrs DUrberville immediately approaches her and takes her on a tour of the garden He feeds her strawberries and dresses
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