Arnold Bennett

Neil Cartlidge (University of Durham)
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Arnold Bennett was born on 27 May 1867 at Hanley in the English West Midlands, a town in what was then a dourly industrial region dominated by the manufacture of crockery, and hence known as the “Potteries”. It is for his novels set in this region, which he always referred to in his fiction as “the Five Towns”, that Bennett is now best-known. Of these,

The Old Wives' Tale

(1908) and


(1910) in particular have good claim to be considered as high points both of the Edwardian novel and of the English Realist tradition. Both are rich in observation and atmosphere, sociologically as well as psychologically sensitive, and technically much more complex than they at first appear.

The Old Wives' Tale

, for example, uses the contrasting destinies of two sisters to present a…

2403 words

Citation: Cartlidge, Neil. "Arnold Bennett". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 November 2004 [, accessed 30 May 2024.]

5068 Arnold Bennett 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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