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...rban. The novel is classified by Hardy under the category of Novels of Ingenuity. Nevertheless, the novel is an expression of the class divisions within the society. This is supported statistically by the vector profiles of this group. This argument is again supported by Page (2000) and Widdowson (1998; 1989). They stress the idea that class awareness is a major theme in The Hand of Ethelberta.
A Few Crusted Characters is a set of 9 tales, which Hardy calls colloquial sketches (1912d). It is about a villager who returns after a long absence to his native village, “and for the final stage of his journey he takes the carrier's van from the market-town. He asks the other passengers for information about the people he had known in his youth and his inquiries lead very naturally to a series of anecdotes concerning typical village characters”(Abercrombie, 1912: 86-87).
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