What is a chapter summary of Hardy's The Woodlanders?

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Noelle Thompson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Chapter I.   Percomb, a barber, gets a ride from Mrs. Dollery to Little Hintock. 

Chapter II.   Percomb tries to get Marty South to sell her beautiful hair to Mrs. Charmond, but Marty refuses because she thinks her hair will be attractive to Giles Winterborne.

Chapter III.   On an errand to the timber mill, Marty hears Mr. Melbury talking about marrying off his daughter to Giles Winterborn.  This prompts Marty to go ahead and cut off her hair.  Marty will always be in love with Giles, no matter who he marries.

Chapter IV.   Melbury continues to hope Grace will marry Giles Winterborne, but admits that Giles is not high-class enough.  Melbury has Giles go and get Grace from college.

Chapter V.   En route, Giles picks Marty up so she can get to Sherton Abbas.  Later, Giles meets Grace.  Marty is forced to begin her return walking, but Mrs. Charmond picks her up. 

Chapter VI.   Giles retrieves Grace from college, but cannot rekindle the romance.  Meanwhile, Grace hears about a doctor who just moved to the area.

Chapter VII.   Grace busily gets ready for a visit to Mrs. Charmond while Giles eavesdrops. 

Chapter VIII.   Grace impresses Mrs. Charmond enough to be offered a position as “traveling companion” in Europe.  Meanwile, Giles and Marty plant trees together.

Chapter IX.   Giles tries to win Grace again at a Christmas Party, but his plan goes awry. 

Chapter X.   Giles is disgusted with himself about losing Grace.  Mr. Melbury is happy that his daughter will not marry Giles. 

Chapter XI.   Mr. Melbury relates his promise to Giles’ father to have his son marry Mr. Melbury’s daughter.  Mr. Melbury feels guilty about not allowing the marriage, but wants Grace’s education to be worth more.

Chapter XII.   Mr. Melbury no longer allows Giles and Grace to see each other.  Mrs. Charmond prepares to leave for Europe as Marty’s father is on his death bed.

Chapter XIII.   Giles prunes a tree for John South while Grace breaks off the relationship.  Mrs. Charmond leaves for Europe alone. 

Chapter XIV.   John South’s tree is cut down.  The stress of that knowledge kills him. 

Chapter XV.   Giles loses his house to Mrs. Charmond.  Grace begins to be interested in Giles just as he is willing to accept the relationship is over.

Chapter XVI.   Giles rides with Dr. Fitzpiers, but does not reveal much about Grace. 

Chapter XVII.   Grammer Oliver gets sick and tells Grace to cancel the deal with Dr. Fitzpiers:  Grammer has sold her brain for ten pounds.  Dr. Fitzpiers is bored in this small town.

Chapter XVIII.   Fitzpiers cancels the deal and uses a microscope to expose John South’s brain.

Chapter XIX.   Fitzpiers becomes Grace’s admirer and helps her find her purse. 

Chapter XX.   During “Midsummer’s Eve,” Fitzpiers woos Grace, but pursues Suke Damson and sleeps with her.

Chapter XXI.   A stranger meets Giles and wants to see Mrs. Charmond. 

Chapter XXII.   Melbury allows Fitzpiers to court Grace, due only to his occupation and breeding

Chapter XXIII.   Grace accepts Fitzpiers’ proposal, but her social status is kept quiet.

Chapter XXIV.   Grace catches Fitzpiers secretly sleeping with Suke Damson.  Fitzpiers claims it is a dental emergency.  Grace marries Fitzpiers.

Chapter XXV.   Grace sees Giles after her honeymoon and becomes upset.  Grace and Fitzpiers set up house with her parents, but refuse social events with them.  The doctor is called to Mrs. Charmond due to a supposed carriage injury.

Chapter XXVI.   The carriage injury is a ruse.  Mrs. Charmond wants to see if Fitzpiers is a former acquaintance from Heidelberg. 

Chapter XXVII.   Fitzpiers decides to stay longer due to Mrs. Charmond’s interest.  Mrs. Charmond begins to feel for Giles. 

Chapter XXVIII.   Grace catches Fitzpiers returning from a rendezvous with Mrs. Charmond. 

Chapter XXIX.   Grace finds out the truth about Fitzpiers and ends the relationship by moving back in with her parents.  Mr. Melbury wishes he had allowed Grace to marry Giles

Chapter XXX.   Grace decides she really loves Giles. 

Chapter XXXI.   Mr. Melbury talks to Giles about spying on Fitzpiers and about the wish for Giles to marry Grace. 

Chapter XXXII.   Mr. Melbury asks Mrs. Charmond to make friends with Grace to stop the rumors about Fitzpiers.

Chapter XXXIII.   Grace secretly meets with Mrs. Charmond and warns her about Fitzpiers.  Mrs. Charmond admits her involvement.

Chapter XXXIV.   Grace gets sick, but Dr. Fitzpiers doesn’t help her.  Meanwhile, Mr. Melbury rescues Fitzpiers when he is thrown from his horse.

Chapter XXXV.   Fitzpiers gets drunk and tells Mr. Melbury he would rather have married Mrs. Charmond.  Mr. Melbury gets mad and pushes Fitzpiers off the horse.  All of Fitzpiers’ female admirers gather, but they do not get to see him.

Chapter XXXVI.   Instead, Mrs. Charmond hides Fitzpiers in her attic and he decides to leave the area.

Chapter XXXVII.   Fitzpiers and Mrs. Charmond leave Hintock together with plans for a future.  Mr. Melbury makes plans for his daughters divorce from Fitzpiers and remarriage to Giles.

Chapter XXXVIII.   Giles and Grace reestablish their relationship while Giles still makes social errors.

Chapter XXXIX.   The divorce is not granted, but Giles and Grace have already kissed.

Chapter XL.   Fitzpiers asks Grace to come to France with him.  Mr. Melbury thinks she should.  Grace disagrees.  Grace flees to Giles.

Chapter XLI.   Grace hides in Giles’ cottage.  Giles, even though he is sick, stays in a small shed unprotected from the elements. 

Chapter XLII.   Giles gets close to death and needs a doctor.  The only possible doctor is Fitzpiers.

Chapter XLIII.   Giles dies. Fitzpiers admits that Mrs. Charmond has also died.  Grace goes back home. 

Chapter XLIV.   Grace visits Giles’ grave.  Fitzpiers realizes that Grace and Giles remained celibate.

Chapter XLV.   Fitzpiers asks for Grace to come back to him.  Even Mr. Melbury says, “No.” 

Chapter XLVI.   Grace remains true to Giles.  Suke’s beau, Tom Tangs, wants to get back at Fitzpiers.

 Chapter XLVII.   Tangs tries to trap Fitzpiers, but catches Grace instead.  Fitzpiers does not give up trying to get Grace back. 

Chapter XLVIII.   Grace finally gives in and goes back to Fitzpiers.  Now it is Marty who tends to Giles’ grave.  Marty is now connected to her lover in this way:  through his death.

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The Woodlanders

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