A novel by T. Hardy, published 1876.
Ethelberta is one of the numerous family of Chickerel, a butler. She marries the son of the house where she is governess, and is soon left a widow at 21. Her spirited efforts to maintain her social position, while concealing her relationship to the butler, account for most of the story. She finally secures a wicked old peer for a husband, while her faithful admirer, the musician Christopher Julian, is left to marry her sister Picotee.
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Thomas Hardy (1840—1928) novelist and poet