A novel by Hardy, published 1871. Cytherea Gray, who loves and is loved by Edward Springrove, becomes lady's maid to Miss Aldclyffe. The contrivances of Miss Aldclyffe, the discovery that Edward is already engaged, and the need to support a sick brother, drive Cytherea to marry Aeneas Manston, Miss Aldclyffe's villainous and illegitimate son, whose first wife is supposed to have perished in a fire. As soon as she is married Cytherea discovers that Edward is free from his engagement and that Aeneas's wife is probably still alive. Ingenious investigations reveal that Aeneas murdered his first wife in order to gain Cytherea. He hangs himself in his cell and the lovers are united.
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Thomas Hardy (1840—1928) novelist and poet