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The Hand of Ethelberta

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By: (1840-1928)

The Hand of Ethelberta by Thomas Hardy is a captivating novel that tells the story of a young woman who rises from a humble background to become a successful novelist. Ethelberta's journey is filled with twists and turns as she navigates the complexities of love, class, and ambition.

Hardy's writing is rich and detailed, bringing the Victorian era to life with vivid descriptions of the characters and settings. Ethelberta herself is a complex and compelling protagonist, whose determination and wit make her a relatable and inspiring figure.

The novel explores themes of social mobility and the constraints of society, painting a vivid picture of the challenges faced by women in the 19th century. Hardy's commentary on class and gender roles is thought-provoking and relevant, even in today's world.

Overall, The Hand of Ethelberta is a thought-provoking and engaging read that offers a compelling portrait of a woman ahead of her time. Hardy's masterful storytelling and complex characters make this novel a must-read for fans of Victorian literature.

Book Description:
Ethelberta was raised in humble circumstances but became a governess and consequently, at the age of 18, married well. However, her husband died two weeks after the wedding. Her father-in-law, Lord Petherwin, died shortly afterwards. Ethelberta (now 21) lives with her mother-in-law, Lady Petherwin. In the three years that have elapsed since her marriage, Ethelberta has been treated to foreign travel and further privileges by Lady Petherwin but restricted from seeing her own family. The story follows Ethelberta's career as a famous poetess and storyteller. Meanwhile, she struggles to support her family and conceal the fact that her father is a butler. Ethelberta easily attracts four very persistent suitors but is reluctant to give her much-coveted hand. The book is written in serial form.

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