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the experience of reading in Britain, from 1450 to 1945...

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Listings for Author:  

Arnold Bennett


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Arnold Bennett : 

'In 1898 Armstrong organised the Ashington Debating and Literary Improvement Society, and his reading broadened out to Shakespeare, Burns, Shelley, Keats, Tennyson, Byron, Whitman, Wordsworth, Scott, Robert Browning, Darwin and T.H. Huxley. Robertson Nicoll's British Weekly had introduced him to a more liberal Nonconformity that was hospitable to contemporary literature. The difficulty was that the traditional Nonconformist commitment to freedom of conscience was propelling him beyond the confines of Primitive Methodism, as far as Unitarianism, the Rationalist Press Association and the Independent Labour Party. His tastes in literature evolved apace: Ibsen, Zola. Meredith, and Wilde by the 1890s; then on to Shaw, Wells, and Bennett; and ultimately Marxist economics and Brave New World'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Chester Armstrong      Print: Book


Enoch Arnold Bennett : [unknown]

[A Sheffield Survey organised by Arnold Freeman in 1918, assessing 816 manual workers, gives the following case:] 'Engine tenter, age twenty-seven...Often attends operas...Methodically building up a personal library following the guidelines of Arnold Bennett's Literary Taste. Has read the Bible, Shakespeare (The Merchant of Venice, Julius Caesar, The Tempest, Much Ado about Nothing), Pope, Tennyson, Masefield, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Emerson, William Morris,, most of Ruskin, Dickens (Nicholas Nickleby, David Copperfield, Oliver Twist, A Tale of Two Cities, The OLd Curiosity Shop, A Christmas Carol), The Cloister and the Hearth, GK Chesterton, Bernard Shaw (Major Barbara, John Bull's Other Island, The Doctor's Dilemma, Man and Superman, The Shewing up of Blanco Posnet, The Devil's Disciple, You Never Can Tell, Socialism and Superor Brains, Fabian Essays, An Unsocial Socialist, The Irrational Knot), John Galsworthy, about a dozen books by H.G. Wells and perhaps twenty by Bennett, Sidney and Beatrice Webb's Industrial Democracy and other books on trade unionism, Sir Oliver Lodge, Edward Carpenter's Towards Democracy and The Intermediate Sex, J.A. Hobson and Alfred Marshall on Economics and Plato's Republic'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: questionaire respondent      Print: Book


Arnold Bennett : The Man from the North

Lane's reader was John Buchan, who read 'A Man from the North' and liked it, although he said it would not be popular.

Century: 1850-1899     Reader/Listener/Group: John Buchan      Manuscript: Sheet, proofs


Arnold Bennett : Anna of the Five Towns

. . . [George] Sturt, Bennett's supposedly 'aesthetic' critic, was not particularly admiring of 'Anna'[of the Five Towns]; he writes complaining that Bennett makes 'an inventory of the furniture in Anna's kitchen', that his characters don't come alive . . .

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: George Sturt      Print: Book


Arnold Bennett : 

'[Helen Crawfurd] derived lessons in socialism and feminism from Carlyle, Shaw, Wells, Galsworthy, Arnold Bennett, Ibsen's Ghosts and A Doll's House, Dickens, Disraeli's Sybil, Mary Barton, Jude the Obscure, Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Under the Greenwood Tree, Tennyson's The Princess, Longfellow, Whitman, Burns, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, George Eliot, George Sand, the Brontes, Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Helen Crawfurd      Print: Unknown


Arnold Bennett : New Age

'And Bennett had now become a man of influence, largely through his "New Age" pieces. These articles, which he had begun in 1908, were widely read and admired . . . Ford Madox Ford, writing in 1918, described the readers of the "New Age" as "very numerous and from widely different classes . . . army officers . . . colonial governors . . . higher Civil Service officials, solicitors and members of the Bar. On the other hand, I have known it read regularly by board-school teachers, shop assistants, servants, artisans, and members of the poor generally. . . "'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Ford Madox Ford      Print: Serial / periodical


Arnold Bennett : The Honeymoon

"He would read acts of 'The Honeymoon' aloud to the two women, conscious that he did not read well, but considering it as a good test, to see if his lines could withstand a bad rendering."

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Arnold Bennett      Manuscript: Sheet


Arnold Bennett : Milestones

'The play was finished after a long summer of hard work on 24 August: they sat in an arbour to read it with an audience of Marguerite Sheldon and Knoblock's agent Miss Kauser but as they both read badly they didn't give it a fair hearing.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Arnold Bennett      Manuscript: Unknown


Arnold Bennett : Pretty Lady, The

'Bonar Law told him that "his sister had been a very great admirer", but that since this book she had "done with" him.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Miss Law      Print: Book


Arnold Bennett : article in the 'Daily News'

'...an article of his in the Daily News on 21 November, blaming Liberal leadership, produced from Asquith himself "a polite letter of self - justification"'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Herbert Asquith      Print: Newspaper


Arnold Bennett : [unknown]

'As a ?1-a-week warehouse clerk in the early 1920s, H.E. Bates spent most of the workday with Conrad, Hardy, Wells, Bennett, Galsworthy, Edith Wharton and Willa Cather'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Herbert Ernest Bates      Print: Book


Arnold Bennett : Riceyman Steps

'While she was on board the yacht in August, the proofs of "Riceyman Steps" arrived; She read them tucked up under rugs in the deck house on a "wild grey day", and they made her weep.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Pauline Smith      Print: Book, proofs


Arnold Bennett : Riceyman Steps

'Riceyman Steps' had brought him new prestige; it was read by lords and barbers, and Conrad was reported to say that it showed 'Bennett victorious'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Joseph Conrad      Print: Book


Arnold Bennett : Lord Raingo

'Beaverbrook vetted all the politics, finding only two or three small slips in the entire novel, which is a tribute to his briefing and to Bennett's attention.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Lord Beaverbrook      Print: Book


Arnold Bennett : preface to The Old Wives' Tale

'I have just read in The Bookman your preface to the American edition of ?An Old Wives? Tale.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: J.B. Pinker      Print: Serial / periodical


Arnold Bennett : Regent, The

'I have this day despatched to you in two book packets, a copy of "The Regent". You may take it positively from me that this book is all right. I have read nearly all of it aloud to friends, with enormous success.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Arnold Bennett      Manuscript: manuscript of new novel (typescript?)


Arnold Bennett : Artist and the Public, The

'I have received your fourth and last article for Austin Harrison, and I have read it with a great deal of enjoyment.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: J.B. Pinker      


Arnold Bennett : Journal

'By the way, My Journal is now in its eighteenth volume, and almost the whole of it is yet in manuscript. Whenever I look at it it seems to me to be rather interesting, and some of my friends say that it is far more interesting than anything else I have written.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Arnold Bennett      Manuscript: Unknown


Arnold Bennett : Price of Love, The

'It ["The Price of Love"] and ?Sinister Street? were, he told me, the only works of fiction he [Henry James] had read since the War broke out.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Henry James      Print: Book


Arnold Bennett : 'New Age' articles

'[Hugh] Walpole spent all Sunday afternoon at my house in reading Jacob Tonson?s "New Age" articles, which he had asked for. He said it would be ridiculous not to reissue a selection from them as a book.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Hugh Walpole      Print: Serial / periodical


Arnold Bennett : The Roll Call

'I have received some copies of "The Roll Call". They are odious in a very high degree. I do not complain of the quality of the paper, but I object to there being two half-titles one before the title and the other after it! I object more strongly to the illustrated cover being passed without reference to the author and still more strongly to the descriptive matter not being submitted to the author. The description of the book inside the jacket: "Can a man love two women is the theme of this book", is perfectly ridiculous and extremely misleading.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Arnold Bennett      Print: Book


Arnold Bennett : The Roll Call

'I have received some copies of 'The Roll Call'. They are odious in a very high degree. I do not complain of the quality of the paper, but I object to there being two half-titles one before the title and the other after it! I object more strongly to the illustrated cover being passed without reference to the authorand still more strongly to the descriptive matter not being submitted to the author. The description of the book inside the jacket: 'Can a man love two women is the theme of this book,' is perfectly ridiculous and extremely misleading.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Arnold Bennett      Manuscript: proofs


Arnold Bennett : How to Become an Author

'Swinnerton feels sure that C & W would be willing to publish a new edition of "How to become an Author". I gave him the book to read and he is enthusiastic about it.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Frank Swinnerton      Print: Book


Arnold Bennett : Mr Prohack

'I congratulate you on ?Prohack?. It is brilliant and I have read it with intense admiration.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Algernon Methuen Marshall      Print: Book


Arnold Bennett : articles

Henry James to Hugh Walpole, 19 May 1912: 'A. Benett [sic] I've never to this day beheld -- and certain [italics]American[end italics] papers of his in "Harper", of an inordinate platitude of journalistic cheapness, have in truth rather curtailed me in such a disposition.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Henry James      Print: Serial / periodical


Arnold Bennett : critique of George Bernard Shaw, Common Sense about the War

Henry James to James B. Pinker, 6 January 1915: 'be thanked [...] for your conveyance to me of Arnold Bennett's healthy article (which I had seen and much relished, though I do myself deprecate everywhere the laying on of any rose-colour too thick), and of Wells's admirable scarification, as I hold it, of G[eorge].B[ernard].S[haw]. -- in which I find myself ready to back himn up to the hilt.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Henry James      Print: Serial / periodical


Arnold Bennett : [unknown]

'On the wall at the side of the chimney Dad put up the bookshelves which Dodie began to fill with secondhand penny books. Over the years we had Conrad and Wodehouse, Eric Linklater and Geoffrey Farnol, Edgar Wallace, Jane Austen, Thomas Hardy, Mark Twain, Arnold Bennett, Robert Louis Stevenson, John Buchan, and a host of others, good, bad and awful, and we read the lot, some of them over and over.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: family of Rose Gamble     Print: Book


Arnold Bennett : Mr Prohack

'Friday 2nd July Teddie and I have managed to get up this morning. Here it is 10.30 and we have tidied up washed the supper dishes and I am waiting for breakfast reading Bennett?s ? Mr Prohack?. We got over to see Dad. He was not in but he left a note for me and we found him at the big Gilmore house cutting down the timber. There being no coal he has managed to purchase some of the timber in the garden as the house has been bought by the corporation as a housing site. He has to cut his wood down roots and all ? haul it to the yard, saw it and load it before it is ready for sale.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Gerald Moore      Print: Book


Arnold Bennett : Mr Prohack

'Monday 5th July I finished ?Mr Prohack? last night. A fine book but I did not take to Mrs P. nor even to Mr Bennett?s views on the feminine. I do not quarrel with them. I am not qualified to do so, knowing little of women, but if his representations are correct ? well, I hate the thought, it makes me a gloomy pessimist. Therefore I don?t think them correct.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Gerald Moore      Print: Book


Arnold Bennett : reviews

'My book reviews find considerable favour. The eclectic Chapman has much encouraged me by the statement that he reads no criticism which he likes better.'

Century: 1850-1899     Reader/Listener/Group: Frederic Chapman      Print: Serial / periodical


Arnold Bennett : 

'. . . I am charmed with a serial of mine now running with great ?clat & Reginald Cleaver?s illustrations, in a sheet entitled the "Golden Penny". To read the instalments each week does me good, they are so exactly what they should be (& good English thrown in gratis).'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Arnold Bennett      Print: Serial / periodical


Arnold Bennett : Whom God Hath Joined

'. . . every evening after dinner he read "Whom God Hath Joined" . . . to Agnes and me. [Eleanor Green] I remember objecting to the daughter in the book, giving her father away . . . and having a heated argument with the author in consequence.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Arnold Bennett      Manuscript: or published book?


Arnold Bennett : Helen with the High Hand

'There is only one trouble about the proofs. That is: the title is wrong. (This not your fault, but some copyist?s.) It ought to be Helen with the High Hand. I really want this "with". I cannot imagine how the mistake arose. I shall put headings to the chapters, as I think these make a book more readable.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Arnold Bennett      Manuscript: Codex


Arnold Bennett : An Old Wives Tale

Virginia Woolf, on her honeymoon, to Lytton Strachey, 1 September 1912: 'You can't think with what a fury we fall on printed matter, so long denied us by our own writing! I read 3 new novels in two days: Leonard waltzed through the Old Wives Tale like a kitten after its tail: after this giddy career I have now run full tilt into Crime et Chatiment, fifty pages before tea, and I see there are only 800; so I shall be through in no time. It is directly obvious that he [Dostoevsky] is the greatest writer ever born'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Leonard Woolf      Print: Book


(Enoch) Arnold Bennett : A Man from the North.

'The reading of the "Man from the North" has inspired me with the greatest respect for your artistic conscience. I am profoundly impressed with the achievement of style.[...] as you may suppose I've read the book more than once. Unfortunately I don't know how to criticise; to discuss however I am ready.' Hence follow about ten lines of constructive criticism of what Conrad calls the 'design' of the novel.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Joseph Conrad      Print: Book


(Enoch) Arnold Bennett : Anna of the Five Towns

'But if I could not find time to write to you [to acknowledge receipt of the presentation copy] I had found time to read your book. I read it once, twice,then kept it upstairs for dipping into when I came up to bed.' Hence follow twenty lines of praise and an invitation to Pent Farm to further discuss the work.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Joseph Conrad      Print: Book


Arnold Bennett : [unknown]

'Sydney [Larkin's father] gave him free run of his library and his appetite for books grew enormously. "Thanks to my father", he wrote later: "our house contained not only the principal works of most main English writers in some form or other (admittedly there were exceptions, like Dickens), but also nearly-complete collections of authors my father favoured - Hardy, Bennett, Wilde, Butler and Shaw, and later on Lawrence, Huxley and Katherine Mansfield".'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Sydney Larkin      Print: Book


(Enoch) Arnold Bennett : Leonora

'You must think me a brute. I don't even attempt to palliate an inexcusable delay in thanking you for "Leonora".[...] Yes. you can do things; you present them with a skill and a language for which I wish to thank you as distinc[t]ly as possible, and with all the respect due to such a remarkable talent.[...] And here the first criticism that occurs is that there is not enough of Leonora herself. [...] And that's about the only objection that can be made to the book as a work. With the sheer pleasure of reading it, that-say-defect- does not interfere.' Thence follow sixteen more lines of constructive criticism.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Joseph Conrad      Print: Book


Arnold Bennett : The old wives' tale

Copious MS notes, including a chronology explaining the ages of the characters: "Samuel born 1833, 29 in 1862/ Constance born 1846, 16 in 1862/ Sophia born 1847, 15 in 1862 [etc.]". Dates of reading: "Read aloud Wallington Oct 13 1915"; "Finished Dec. 13 1922".

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: George Otto Trevelyan      Print: Book


Arnold Bennett : These twain

MS notes including dates of reading, e.g.: "July 18 1916 Welcombe"; "March 29 1923 with Anna [i.e. Anna Philips, George Otto Trevelyan's sister-in-law]; "Read aloud to C [i.e. Lady Caroline Trevelyan] and most of it to her and Anna. Dec 23 1923 Welcombe".

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: George Otto Trevelyan      Print: Book


Arnold Bennett : Some Impressions of my Elders

Many thanks for the book on Methuselahs. ['Some Impressions of my Elders']Shame to say, I’ve only read myself in it yet! The one point on which I would seriously oppose you is your statement that old people who have mannerisms always had them. Briefly, this is not so. In consideration of the generosity & insight you display in dealing with me I overlook the lapse from verity.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Arnold Bennett      Print: Book


Arnold Bennett : Accident

'I finish "Accident" by Arnold Bennett, write up my diary, and so to bed.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Thomas Kitching      Print: Book


Arnold Bennett : Leonora

'From that far distant day [in 1903] when (you remember?) you sent me "Leonora" it's great fundamental quality of absolutely genuine expression has been with me an unshakable conviction. I often look through the book noting on the pages those gifts which have found now their fullest expression.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Joseph Conrad      Print: Book


Arnold Bennett : [article on Hardy]

'F. E. Pollard read an article on Thos Hardy by Arnold Bennett S. A. Reynold [sic] spoke on Hardy's country with books & illustrations & R.H. Robson read from "Far from the Madding Crowd. T. C. Elliott read some of Hardy's poems. Mrs Rawlings read a description of Egdon Heath from "the return of the Native" Muriel B. Smith read from The Mayor of Casterbridge & Miss Brain from Tess of the d'Urbervilles. Geo Burrow gave a short introduction to & some readings from the Dynasts. In conclusion F. E. Pollard made some provocative remarks which achieved their object'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Francis Pollard      Print: Unknown


Enoch Arnold Bennett : Riceyman Steps

'I am wholly delighted with your "R.[iceyman] S.[teps]. Wholly. You will give me credit for not having missed any special gems but it is the whole achievement as I went from page to page that secured my admiration. [...] I closed the book at 7 in the morning after the shortest sleepless night of my experience [...]'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Joseph Conrad      Print: Book


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