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Arnold Bennett


Arnold Bennett was born in Hanley, Staffordshire, in 1867. After being educated at London University (where he failed his exams), he became a solicitor’s clerk before turning to journalism, becoming an assistant editor on the magazine Woman. However, he soon turned to writing, producing many novels as well as plays and non-fiction. Many of his novels are set in the Five Towns, based on actual towns in the Potteries. In 1903 he moved to Paris where he lived for around eight years and met many of the famous people of the day. He was much influenced by the French novel. He married a French actress, Marguerite Soulié, but they later divorced. During World War 1, he was involved with other writers in a major propaganda effort. After the war he lived in Essex with the actress, Dorothy Cheston. He died in London in 1931 from typhoid, probably contracted on a visit to France.

Though wildly successful in his lifetime, both in Britain and the United States, he is now little read. His writing, while well done, seems uninventive. Virginia Woolf said his novels lacked characterisation. However, he was very influential and his major books are still worth reading.

Books about Arnold Bennett

Frederick Joseph Harvey Darton: Arnold Bennett
Margaret Drabble: Arnold Bennett, a Biography (the standard biography)
Reginald Pound: Arnold Bennett, a Biography
Kenneth Young: Arnold Bennett

Other links

Arnold Bennett
Arnold Bennett
Arnold Bennett
Arnold Bennett
Arnold Bennett – Son of Stoke-on-Trent
Frank Harris and Arnold Bennett
Who’s Afraid of Arnold Bennett?
Arnold Bennett Society
Arnold Bennett’s Potteries, Staffordshire
Arnold Bennett and The Potteries (locations of his novels)


1898 A Man from the North
1989 Journalism for Women
1900 Polite Farces for the Drawing Room
1901 Fame and Fiction
1902 Anna of the Five Towns
1902 The Grand Babylon Hotel (US: T Racksole and Daughter)
1903 The Gates of Wrath
1903 Leonora
1903 How to Become an Author
1904 Teresa of Watling Street
1904 A Great Man, a Frolic
1905 Sacred and Profane Love (originally: The Book of Carlotta)
1905 Tales of the Five Towns
1905 The Loot of Cities
1906 Whom God Hath Joined
1906 Sinews of War (with Eden Phillpotts) (US: Doubloons Hugo)
1906-1908 Things That Have Interested Me
1907 The Ghost, a Fantasia on Modern Themes
1907 The City of Pleasure
1907 The Grim Smile of the Five Towns
1907 The Reasonable Life
1908 Buried Alive
1908 The Statue (with Eden Phillpotts)
1908 The Human Machine
1908 The Old Wives’ Tale
1909 The Glimpse, an Adventure of the Soul
1909 What the Public Wants (drama)
1909 Literary Taste, How to Form it
1910 Helen with the High Hand
1910 Clayhanger
1911 The Feast of St Friend
1911 The Card (US: Denry the Audacious)
1911 Hilda Lessways
1911 The Honeymoon
1912 The Matador of the Five Towns
1912 Cupid and Commonsense (drama)
1912 Milestones (with Edward Knoblock) (drama)
1912 How to Live on 24 hours a Day
1912 Mental Efficiency
1912 Those United States
1913 The Plain Man and his Wife
1913 The Regent (US: The Old Adam)
1913 The Great Adventure (drama)
1913 Paris Nights
1914 The Price of Love
1914 The Author’s Craft
1914 Liberty, a Statement of the British Case
1915 Over There, War Scenes on the Western Front
1916 These Twain
1916 The Lion’s Share
1917 Books and Persons
1918 The Title, a Comedy
1918 The Pretty Lady
1918 The Roll-call
1918 Self and Self-Management
1919 Judith (drama)
1920 Our Women
1920 From the Log of the Velsa
1922 Mr Prohack
1922 Body and Soul (drama)
1922 Lilian
1922 The Love Match (drama)
1923 Riceyman Steps
1923 Don Juan de Marana (drama)
1923 How to Make the Best of Life
1924 Elsie and the Child
1924 The Bright Island (drama)
1924 A London Life (with Edward Knoblock) (drama)
1926 Lord Raingo
1927 The Woman Who Stole Everything and Other Stories
1928 Short Stories of Today and Yesterday
1928 The Savour of Life
1928 The Strange Vanguard (US: The Vanguard Accident)
1928 Mediterranean Scenes
1929 The Religious Interregnum
1929 Piccadilly, the Story of the Film
1930 Imperial Palace
1930 Journal 1929
1931 Venus Rising from the Sea (US: Stroke of Luck)
1931 The Night Visitor and Other Stories
1932 A Dream of Destiny (unfinished)
1932 Journals, Vol. 1, 1896-1910
1932 Journals, Vol. 2, 1911-1920
1933 Journals, Vol. 3, 1921-1928
1935 Arnold Bennett’s Letters to His Nephew
1960 Arnold Bennett and HG Wells
1966-1970 The Letters of Arnold Bennett
1967 Florentine Journal, 1 April – 25 May 1910
1971 The Journals