Author(s): Arnold Bennett
Miserly and mysterious, the richest man in the Five Towns lives simply, ruling his household with an iron fist and a cruel temper. His daughter, Anna, is used to the life of strict, thrifty order imposed by her father. But when she comes of age, Anna inherits a small fortune and attracts the attentions of the town's most eligible bachelor. A new world seems to be opening to Anna, but her heart, given a taste of freedom, leads her in unexpected directions.
"Arnold Bennett is very much worth reading. This will be contrary to what any of you who might have studied English Literature at university since the last war will have been told, so please park such prejudices." Daily Telegraph "Bennett's great novels all deal with the great emotions, though they are revealed through the stories of 'ordinary' people" Independent on Sunday "A writer of genius" Guardian "Bennett has long been one of my favourite writers" -- Peter James
Arnold Bennett was born in Staffordshire on 27 May 1867, the son of a solicitor. Rather than following his father into the law, Bennett moved to London at the age of twenty-one and began a career in writing . His first novel, The Man from the North, was published in 1898 during a spell as editor of a periodical - throughout his life journalism supplemented his writing career. In 1902 Bennett moved to Paris, married, and published some of his best known novels, most of which were set in The Potteries district where he grew up: Anna of the Five Towns (1902), The Old Wives Tale (1908), and the Clayhanger series (1910-1918). These works, as well as several successful plays, established him both in Europe and America as one of the most popular and acclaimed writers of his era. Bennett returned to England in 1912, and during the First World War worked for Lord Beaverbrook in the Ministry of Information. In 1921, separated from his first wife, he fell in love with an actress, Dorothy Cheston, with whom he had a child. He received the James Tait Black Award for his novel Riceyman Steps in 1923. Arnold Bennett died of typhoid in London on 27 March 1931.