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About the book
  • Published: 10 May 2002
  • ISBN: 9780141905938
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 240

Anna Of The Five Towns




Against a brilliantly observed background of life in the Staffordshire Potteries, ANNA OF THE FIVE TOWNS is both a novel about a gossipy, myopic, savage community and at its heart a young girl dominated by her miserly father. Bennett's portraitof Anna as a spirited, subtle, complex modern woman makes this book as absorbing and moving today as when it was first written.%%%Growing up in the world of the 'five towns' of industrial England, with their furnaces and chimneys, huddled red-brown streets, prayer meetings and small-minded bigotry, Anna is dominated by her miserly and tyrannical father. When she inherits a fortune and finds love, she struggles to break free from the constraints upon her, even though she is torn between duty and her deepest feelings. Arnold's novel of parental tyranny and rebellion is a portrayal of a woman of great spirit, complexity and integrity.
'Deeply moving, original, and dealing with material that I had never encountered in fiction, but only in life' Margaret Drabble

  • Pub date: 10 May 2002
  • ISBN: 9780141905938
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 240

About the Author

Arnold Bennett

Arnold Bennett was born in Hanley, Staffordshire, in 1867. After a secondary school education, he worked first for his father, a self-taught solicitor, and then moved to London as a shorthand clerk with a firm of solicitors. He began to write to make extra money and in 1893 became assistant editor and subsequently editor of the weekly magazine, Woman, reviewing books and writing articles on general subjects, something he continued to do all his life. His first novel, A Man From the North, appeared in 1898 and in 1900 he finished The Grand Babylon Hotel, published in 1902, and began Anna of the Five Towns (1902), in which he first started to use the Potteries of his boyhood as a setting for his novels. In these contrasting works, he also reveals his lifelong fascination for, on the one hand, the world's luxury and opulence, and on the other, puritanism and people who can endure hard work.

In 1903 Bennett moved to Paris and in 1907 he married a Frenchwoman (from whom he separated in 1921). The Old Wives' Tale (1908) was written in France and shows Bennet's main influences, the first being that of his own background and the second that of the French realists such as Flaubert, Maupassant and Balzac. In it, Bennett also reveals his own preoccupations with the effects of time and history on the lives of ordinary people.

This was followed by the Clayhanger trilogy: Clayhanger (1910), Hilda Lessways (1911) and These Twain (1916). His works also include several plays, two volumes of short stories and several other novels. He died in 1931.

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