yellowback series of Standard Novels, published between 1888 and
1893, included eight works by Thomas Hardy. The Hand of Ethelberta
- a comic satire on fashionable London society - had been an unsatisfactory
successor to Far From the Madding Crowd when it was first
published in 1876. As Hardy wryly observed at the time, it was received
with 'a general disappointment at the lack of sheep and shepherds'.
These yellowbacks were reprinted throughout the 1890s, but by 1900
the first sixpenny paper-covered editions of Hardy's novels had
begun to appear.