The Hand of Ethelberta
- The Hand of Ethelberta is a novel by Thomas Hardy, published in 1876. It was written, in serial form, for the Cornhill Magazine, which was edited by Leslie Stephen, a friend and mentor of Hardy's. At the beginning of the book, we are told that Ethelberta was raised in humble circumstances but, through her work as a governess, married well at the age of eighteen. Her husband died two weeks after the wedding and, now twenty-one, Ethelberta lives with her mother-in-law, Lady Petherwin. In the three years that have elapsed since the deaths of both her husband and father-in-law, Ethelberta has been treated to foreign travel and further privilege by her benefactress, but restricted from seeing her poor family.