Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

The Hand of Ethelberta

Book cover
By: (1840-1928)

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.

First Page:

This eBook was produced from the 1907 Macmillan and Co. edition by Les Bowler, St. Ives, Dorset.


"Vitae post scenia celant." Lucretius.


This somewhat frivolous narrative was produced as an interlude between stories of a more sober design, and it was given the sub title of a comedy to indicate though not quite accurately the aim of the performance. A high degree of probability was not attempted in the arrangement of the incidents, and there was expected of the reader a certain lightness of mood, which should inform him with a good natured willingness to accept the production in the spirit in which it was offered. The characters themselves, however, were meant to be consistent and human.

On its first appearance the novel suffered, perhaps deservedly, for what was involved in these intentions for its quality of unexpectedness in particular that unforgivable sin in the critic's sight the immediate precursor of 'Ethelberta' having been a purely rural tale. Moreover, in its choice of medium, and line of perspective, it undertook a delicate task: to excite interest in a drama if such a dignified word may be used in the connection wherein servants were as important as, or more important than, their masters; wherein the drawing room was sketched in many cases from the point of view of the servants' hall... Continue reading book >>

Stream audiobook and download chapters

eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book

Popular Genres
More Genres
Paid Books