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The Hand of Ethelberta

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Young Mrs. Petherwin stepped from the door of an old and well-appointed inn in a Wessex town to take a country walk. By her look and carriage she appeared to belong to that gentle order of society which has no worldly sorrow except when its jewellery gets stolen; but, as a fact not generally known, her claim to distinction was rather one of brains than of blood. She was the daughter of a gentleman who lived in a large house not his own, and began life as a baby christened Ethelberta after an infant of title who does not come into the story at all, having merely furnished Ethelberta's mother with a subject of contemplation. She became teacher in a school, was praised by examiners, admired by gentlemen, not admired by gentlewomen, was touched up with accomp-lishments by masters who were coaxed into painstaking by her many graces, and, entering a mansion as governess to the daughter thereof, was stealthily married by the son. He, a minor like herself, died from a chill caught during the wedding tour, and a few weeks later was followed into the grave by Sir Ralph Petherwin, his unforgiving father, who had bequeathed his wealth to his wife absolutely.

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Keywords

  • Accessible book
  • Classic Literature
  • Courtship
  • Courtship -- Fiction
  • Fiction
  • GITenberg
  • Humorous stories
  • Impostors and imposture
  • Impostors and imposture -- Fiction
  • OverDrive
  • PR
  • Wessex (England) -- Fiction

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web: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/3469

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