The Hand of Ethelberta

Thomas Hardy

150px|First edition title page The Hand of Ethelberta: A Comedy in Chapters 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. Unlike the majority of Hardy's fiction, the novel is a comedy, with both humour and a happy ending for the major characters and no suicides or tragic deaths. The late nineteenth century novelist George Gissing, who knew Hardy, considered it 'surely old Hardy's poorest book'.