The Romantic Adventures of a Milkmaid
  
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The Romantic Adventures of a Milkmaid is a novella by English author Thomas Hardy, first published in 1913.

A milkmaid, Margery, encounters a mysterious foreigner and perhaps prevents him from committing suicide. In gratitude, the man offers her any reward she can name.

She tells him she wants to go to a ball. He takes her, admittedly a bit reluctantly, to a yeoman's ball in a neighboring county. From there the story continues because of course, a lot happens after the ball. 

She happens to already have an engagement to a local lad but his hold over her seems to grow of its own accord. This Hardy story may not end the way you wish, but that is often true of stories by this master writer.

Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) was an English novelist and poet. A Victorian realist, in the tradition of George Eliot, he was also influenced both in his novels and poetry by Romanticism, especially by William Wordsworth.

Charles Dickens is another important influence on Thomas Hardy. Like Dickens, he was also highly critical of much in Victorian society, though Hardy focused more on a declining rural society.

Initially he gained fame as the author of such novels as Far from the Madding Crowd (1874), The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886), Tess of the d'Urbervilles (1891), and Jude the Obscure (1895). However, since the 1950s Hardy has been recognized as a major poet, and had a significant influence on The Movement poets of the 1950s and 1960s, including Phillip Larkin.

The bulk of his fictional works, initially published as serials in magazines, were set in the semi-fictional region of Wessex and explored tragic characters struggling against their passions and social circumstances. Hardy's Wessex is based on the medieval Anglo-Saxon kingdom and eventually came to include the counties of Dorset, Wiltshire, Somerset, Devon, Hampshire, and much of Berkshire, in south west England.

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