Thomas Hardy was an English novelist and poet. Ethelberta reinvents herself to disguise her humble origins, launching a brilliant career as a society poet in London. Turning the maledominated literary world to her advantage, she happily exploits the attentions of four very different suitors. Will she bestow her hand upon the richest of them, or on the man she loves? Ethelberta Petherwin, alias Berta Chickerel, moves with easy grace between her multiple identities, cleverly managing a tissue of lies to aid her meteoric rise.