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The Hand of Ethelberta, a comedy in chapters.
London: Smith, Elder, & Co., 1876 - 2 volumes, octavo. Later blue half morocco, spines lettered gilt, raised bands, blue cloth sides, top edges gilt, by Sangorski & Sutcliffe. A few fingermarks, a good firm set. Frontispiece in each volume and 9 wood-engraved plates by George Du Maurier. First edition of the successor to Far From the Madding Crowd. Like its predecessor, it was first serialized in the Cornhill (July 1875–May 1876), but wrongfooted those readers expecting another rural setting, being set mainly in the Dorset seaside resort of Swanage, where it was also written, "its romantic elements subordinated to the central story (perhaps remotely suggested by Hardy's having been waited on at table by Catherine Pole's father) of how, at what cost, and with what ironic implications, a butler's daughter, Ethelberta Petherwin, wins her way to social and financial power as the wife of the wealthy but dissolute Lord Mountclere" (ODNB). Purdy, pp. 20–23. [Attributes: First Edition]
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington. ABA member]
Last Found On: 2014-10-02           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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