On Arnold Bennett (1): Sincerity, Truthfulness, and Insight


St. John’s Square, Burslem

Following our series of quotations from books by Arnold Bennett, we have decided to compile some choice comments on Arnold Bennett and his fiction, by a range of well-known and unknown writers. First up, an unsigned review from the US:

‘Unhappily named and ungainly in appearance, filling nearly six hundred pages of close typography, opening in a way that promises to tax the reader’s endurance, and concerned from beginning to end with mean or commonplace characters, not one of whom is tricked out with the attributes that are commonly thought necessary to arouse sympathy and retain interest, The Old Wives Tale, by Mr. Arnold Bennett, is nevertheless a remarkable work of fiction, a book of such sincerity, truthfulness, and insight as to make the ordinary novel seem hopelessly shallow and artificial by comparison.’ (Unsigned Review, Dial, Chicago, 1st October 1909)

For more information on our upc0ming symposium (‘Arnold Bennett and His Circle’), see here (or e-mail us at edwardianculture@hotmail.co.uk for a draft programme of the day’s events).

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