Arnold Bennett

Arnold Bennett (Enoch Arnold Bennett), 1867–1931, English novelist and dramatist. One of the great 20th-century English novelists, Bennett is famous for his realistic novels about the "Five Towns," an imaginary manufacturing district in northern England. Bennett's early career included editing the fashionable magazine Woman and writing literary reviews and articles. About 1900 he began to devote himself industriously to his own work, producing a series of excellent regional novels. Influenced by the naturalism of Zola, he depicted in great detail the grim, sometimes sordid, lives of shopkeepers and potters. His attitude toward his characters was one of affectionate sympathy, and he always managed to make their mundane lives interesting. Bennett's best work is contained in his novels of the "Five Towns," which include Anna of the Five Towns (1902), The Old Wives' Tale (1908), the trilogy Clayhanger (1910), Hilda Lessways (1911), and These Twain (1916). Bennett also achieved considerable success as a playwright, most notably with Milestones (1912), written with Edward Knoblock, and The Great Adventure (1913).

See his journal (3 vol., 1932–33); biography by M. Drabble (1974).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Arnold Bennett: Selected full-text books and articles

FREE! The Old Wives' Tale By Arnold Bennett Hodder & Stoughton, 1909
Riceyman Steps By Arnold Bennett George H. Doran Co., 1923
Arnold Bennett By Walter Earlie Allen Denver, A. Swallow, 1949
Four Contemporary Novelists By Wilbur L. Cross The Macmillan Company, 1930
Librarian’s tip: "Arnold Bennett" begins on p. 61
FREE! Some Modern Novelists: Appreciations and Estimates By Helen Thomas Follett; Wilson Follett H. Holt and Company, 1918
Librarian’s tip: Chap. VIII "Arnold Bennett"
Elephants in the Labyrinth of Empire: Modernism and the Menagerie in the Old Wives' Tale By Koenigsberger, Kurt Twentieth Century Literature, Vol. 49, No. 2, Summer 2003
"The Only Really Objective Novel Ever Written"? Arnold Bennett's Riceyman Steps By Cartlidge, Neil Papers on Language & Literature, Vol. 38, No. 2, Spring 2002
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Noble Essences: A Book of Characters By Osbert Sitwell Little, Brown & Company, 1950
Librarian’s tip: Chap. XI "Arnold Bennett"
Dostoevsky and English Modernism, 1900-1930 By Peter Kaye Cambridge University Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "Sympathy, Truth, and Artlessness: Arnold Bennett"
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