Young Mrs. Petherwin stepped from the door of an old and well-appointed inn in a Wessextown to take a country walk. By her look and carriage she appeared to belong to that gentleorder of society which has no worldly sorrow except when its jewellery gets stolen; but, asa fact not generally known, her claim to distinction was rather one of brains than ofblood. She was the daughter of a gentleman who lived in a large house not his own, andbegan life as a baby christened Ethelberta after an infant of title who does not come intothe story at all, having merely furnished Ethelberta's mother with a subject ofcontemplation. She became teacher in a school, was praised by examiners, admired bygentlemen, not admired by gentlewomen, was touched up with accomplishments bymasters who were coaxed into painstaking by her many graces, and, entering a mansion asgoverness to the daughter thereof, was stealthily married by the son. He, a minor likeherself, died from a chill caught during the wedding tour, and a few weeks later wasfollowed into the grave by Sir Ralph Petherwin, his unforgiving father, who had bequeathedhis wealth to his wife absolutely.These calamities were a sufficient reason to Lady Petherwin for pardoning allconcerned. She took by the hand the forlorn Ethelberta-who seemed rather a detachedbride than a widow-and finished her education by placing her for two or three years in aboarding-school at Bonn. Latterly she had brought the girl to England to live under herroof as daughter and companion, the condition attached being that Ethelberta was neveropenly to recognize her relations, for reasons which will hereafter appear.
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About the Author
Thomas Hardy (2 June 1840 - 11 January 1928), was an English novelist and poet.
Date of Birth:June 2, 1840
Date of Death:January 11, 1928
Place of Birth:Higher Brockhampon, Dorset, England
Place of Death:Max Gate, Dorchester, England
Education:Served as apprentice to architect James Hicks
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From the Publisher
"The Hand of Ethelberta is … a portrait of two artists – Ethelberta Petherwin and Thomas Hardy …"