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The author of The Grand Babylon Hotel, How to Live on 24 Hours a Day, The Old Wives' Tale and much more, English writer Arnold Bennett's fictional and non-fictional works have stood the test of time. Bennett also wrote for stage and screen. The Author's Craft, contains some of Bennett's essays on the art of writing, with his thoughts on applying the craft to both novel and play writing.
What would you do if your money-grubbing father decided to marry you off to someone you loathed, against your express wishes? That's precisely the dilemma facing virtuous Anna Tellwright in Arnold Bennett's juicy potboiler Anna of the Five Towns. Will Anna muster up the courage to defy her father's wishes and make her own way in the world?
British author Arnold Bennett's most acclaimed and enduring works are a series of novels set around the Potteries district of Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire, his native region. This volume of short stories delves further into the lives of the residents of the fictional "Five Towns" that Bennett explores in novels like Anna of the Five Towns and Clayhanger.
British author Arnold Bennett returns to his native stomping grounds -- the Potteries district of England's West Midlands region -- with this collection of insightful, darkly witty stories about the denizens of the fictionalized "Five Towns." From love gone wrong to mischief and misadventure, these sharply drawn tales run the gamut.
Arnold Bennett's The Grand Babylon Hotel, from 1902, tells the story of a German prince mysteriously disappearing. American millionaire Theodore Racksole and his daughter Nella stay at the exclusive Grand Babylon Hotel. When Nella is denied her dinner order of steak and Bass beer, Racksole's solution is to purchase the entire hotel for exactly four hundred thousand pounds and one guinea, the one guinea added after the former owner decides to haggle.
First published in 1908, The Old Wives' Tale affirms the integrity of ordinary lives as 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 sisters' lives 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 Staffordshire to exotic and cosmopolitan Paris, while the action moves from the subdued domestic routine of the Baines household to the siege of Paris during the Franco-Prussian War.
Set in the raw, Victorian world of the 'Five Towns', The Card tells the extremely funny and tangled story of Denry Machin's rise from mediocrity to fame through a series of ludicrous and yet perversely successful schemes. He dances, pleads, cheats and inspires his way through life in a series of set-pieces which wonderfully evoke a now long-gone world of civic balls, seaside excursions, newspaper boys and patent chocolate remedies. As everybody said after one of his most stylish coups, Denry 'was not simply a card; he was the card.'
In the work that has been judged the finest of his later novels, (printed here in Bennett's corrected version) Arnold Bennett gives us an unfogettable portrait of a miser and his wife. Henry Earlforward is a second-hand bookseller with a passion for money. He marries Violet Arb, a widow with a fortune of her own, yet he is eaten up by fear and greed. Set against the dark forces of avarice is the Earlford's maid, Elsie, whose love of life, generosity of spirit and warm humanity give Riceyman Steps a fine balance between hopelessness and optimism.
'I closed the book at seven in the morning after the shortest sleepless night of my experience ... there I had "Bennett triumphant" without any doubt whatsoever' - Joseph Conrad
There are men who are capable of loving a machine more deeply than they can love a woman. They are among the happiest men on earth. This is not a sneer meanly shot from cover at women. It is simply a statement of notorious fact. Men who worry themselves to distraction over the perfecting of a machine are indubitably blessed beyond their kind. Most of us have known such men. Yesterday they were constructing motorcars. But to-day aeroplanes are in the air--or, at any rate, they ought to be, according to the inventors. Watch the inventors. Invention is not usually their principal business. They must invent in their spare time. They must invent before breakfast, invent in the Strand between Lyons's and the office, invent after dinner, invent on Sundays. See with what ardour they rush home of a night! See how they seize a half-holiday, like hungry dogs a bone!