The story of Tess Durbeyfield, the most tragic of Thomas Hardy's heroines. Adapted by Alan Sharp for BBC Radio 4.
John Durbeyfield (Keith Barron) learns that he is descended from the aristocratic Norman family of d'Urbervilles. He encourages his daughter, Tess (Claire Rushbrook), to befriend the family of Stoke d'Urbervilles where she meets Alec d'Urberville (Adam Godley).
Tess is ultimately seduced by Alec and the effects of their affair creates dramatic ripples in Tess's life. In an attempt to make a fresh start, Tess begins work in Wessex at the Talbothay's farm where she encounters Angel Clare (James D'Arcy), the younger son of a parson, who asks her to marry him. Torn between her love for Angel and the events of her past, Tess is faced with the choice to confess all to Angel or bury the memories when an old face reappears culminating in the spiral of tragedies.
Director: Mary Peate
Music: Composed by Sylvia Hallett
Violin: Isabel Watson