“See here,” said Myners, “isn’t that pretty?” He pointed through the last window to a view of the canal, which could be seen thence in perspective, finishing in a curve. On one side, close to the water’s edge, was a ruined and fragmentary building, its rich browns reflected in the smooth surface of the canal. On the other side were a few grim, grey trees bordering the towpath. Down the vista moved a boat steered by a woman in a large mob-cap.
“Isn’t that picturesque?” he said.
“Very,” Anna assented willingly. “It’s really quite strange, such a scene right in the middle of Bursley.”
“Oh! There are others,” he said. “But I always take a peep at that whenever I come into the warehouse.”
(Anna of the Five Towns, 1902)
This quotation is the fourth part of a series dedicated to the work of the great Edwardian writer Arnold Bennett (1867-1931), on whom we will be co-hosting a symposium (‘Arnold Bennett and His Circle’) at Keele University on 17th-18th October. More details here.