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The Old Wives' Tale

The Old Wives' Tale Description:

H G Wells described The Old Wives Tale as by far the finest long novel written in English and in the English fashion He was of course speaking for his own generation and a hundred years later the opinion may seem somewhat exaggerated However there is no doubt that i The Old Wives Tale i is a superb novel of its kind and it is still as readable and enjoyable as ever First published in it tells the story of the Baines sisters shy retiring Constance and defiant romantic Sophia over the course of nearly half a century Bennett traces the lives of the sisters from childhood in their father s drapery shop in provincial Bursley England during the mid Victorian era through their married lives to the modern industrial age when they are reunited as old women The setting moves from the Five Towns of the Staffordshire Potteries to exotic and cosmopolitan Paris It was fascinating to learn from Bennett s journal how he saw an old lady in a cafe and was inspired to think of how her life might have been lived how she must have once been young The plot of the novel came to him fairly promptly and as they say the rest is history This novel was serialized on British television with great success circa

Rating: 3.55 out of 5

How to Live on 24 Hours a Day

How to Live on 24 Hours a Day Description:

You have to live on twenty four hours of daily time Out of it you have to spin health pleasure money content respect and the evolution of your immortal soul This timeless classic is one of the first self help books ever written and was a best seller in both England and America It remains as useful today as when it was written and offers fresh and practical advice on how to make the most of the daily miracle of life

Rating: 3.45 out of 5

Anna of the Five Towns

Anna of the Five Towns Description:

Anna a woman of reserve and integrity lives with her tyrannical and selfish father Courted for her money by the handsome and successful Henry Mynors Anna defies her father s wrath with tragic results Set in the Potteries against a background of dour Wesleyan Methodism Anna of the Five Towns is a brilliantly perceptive novel of provincial life in Victorian England Newly designed and typeset in a modern by inch format by Waking Lion Press

Rating: 3.57 out of 5

The Grand Babylon Hotel

The Grand Babylon Hotel Description:

The Grand Babylon Hotel is an exclusive London establishment and American millionaire Theodore Racksole visiting the hotel with his spirited year old daughter Nella decides to buy the place What he hasn t counted on is having to deal with a criminal conspiracy whose purposes are not at all clear and events take an unexpected turn as Theodore and Nella play detective Replete with evil villains physical dangers and secret passages The Grand Babylon Hotel is a mesmerizing thriller that will be enjoyed by mystery lovers everywhere Newly designed and typeset in a modern by inch format by Waking Lion Press

Rating: 3.37 out of 5


Clayhanger Description:

Arnold Bennett was a British writer He went to work for his father but was unhappy working for his father and earning very little money The theme of parental miserliness occurs in his works At he went to London to clerk for a solicitor He then began working for a magazine called Women When he noticed the poor material being submitted he began writing a serial for the periodical First published in Edwin Clayhanger is the central figure in this portrayal of Victorian lower middle class society As a shy young man Edwin is bullied by his father Darius but he succeeds in developing his interests in spite of a restrictive environment One of Edwin s interests is Hilda Lessways a young woman from Staffordshire Hilda proves to be independent and enigmatic while Edwin proves that there are many ways to view love

Rating: 3.67 out of 5

The Card: A Story of Adventure in the Five Towns

The Card: A Story of Adventure in the Five Towns Description:

Enoch Arnold Bennett was a British novelist His most famous works are the i Clayhanger i trilogy i The Card i and i The Old Wives Tale i These books draw on his experience of life in the Potteries as did most of his best work i The Card i is a short comedic novel written by Arnold Bennett in It was later made into a movie starring Alec Guinness and Petula Clark It chronicles the rise of Edward Henry Denry Machin from washerwoman s son to Mayor of Bursley a fictitious town based on Burslem

Rating: 3.58 out of 5

The Human Machine

The Human Machine Description:

This is a typical example of the sort of self improvement essays or book that Arnold Bennett produced so readily during his heyday In Britain in the first decades of the th century there was a demand for anything that would help ordinary people better themselves and Bennett obliged with volumes on Mental Efficiency how to live hours a day how to improve one s literary taste as well as books on the life of a novelist etc Overall of course he is deservedly best remembered for such novels as The Old Wives Tale the Clayhanger Trilogy and The Card br br Enoch Arnold Bennett was a British novelist He was born in a modest house in Hanley in the Potteries district of Staffordshire At age he went to London as a solicitor s clerk He won a literary competition in Tit Bits magazine in and was encouraged to take up journalism full time From he devoted himself full time to writing giving up the editorship and writing much serious criticism and also theatre journalism one of his special interests In Anna of the Five Towns the first of a succession of stories which detailed life in the Potteries appeared In The Old Wives Tale was published and was an immediate success throughout the English speaking world His most famous works are the Clayhanger trilogy and The Old Wives Tale These books draw on his experience of life in the Potteries as did most of his best work Among his other books are The Grand Babylon Hotel The Grim Smile of the Five Towns Hilda Lessways The Author s Craft The Lion s Share and The Roll Call

Rating: 3.78 out of 5

Riceyman Steps

Riceyman Steps Description:

Henry Earlforward a shabby Clerkenwell bookseller has retired from life to devote himself and his wife Violet to a consuming passion for money Miserliness long disguised as procrastination can become a fatal illness Bennett s bleak story is saved however by the Earlforwards maid Elsie buxom warm ignorant and sublime in her spontaneous greed for life br br Riceyman Steps is a modernist masterpiece a profound psychological and symbolic exploration of the forces of love and death

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Buried Alive

Buried Alive Description:

An ingenious satire Buried Alive is Bennett at his most charming and wittiest It is the story a renowned but exceedingly shy painter Priam Farll who assumes the identity of his dead valet Henry Leek as a means of avoiding press attention The novel was enormously successful as a play retitled The Great Adventure and later as the film br Holy Matrimony

Rating: 3.56 out of 5

Hilda Lessways

Hilda Lessways Description:

In the second volume of the trilogy events in Clayhanger are retold from the perspective of Hilda Lessways who is embarking upon a relationship with George Cannon a charismatic entrepreneur whose success has taken him from the Five Towns to Brighton A disastrous bigamous marriage and pregnancy result Finally however she is reconciled with Edwin Clayhanger and one of Bennett s most lively heroines must face up to her conflicting emotions and the reality of her hopes and tragedies

Rating: 3.60 out of 5