The Old Wives' Tale: Top of Bennett

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谷月社, Dec 2, 2015 - Fiction - 454 pages
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 Those two girls, Constance and Sophia Baines, paid no heed to the manifold interest of their situation, of which, indeed, they had never been conscious. They were, for example, established almost precisely on the fifty-third parallel of latitude. A little way to the north of them, in the creases of a hill famous for its religious orgies, rose the river Trent, the calm and characteristic stream of middle England. Somewhat further northwards, in the near neighbourhood of the highest public-house in the realm, rose two lesser rivers, the Dane and the Dove, which, quarrelling in early infancy, turned their backs on each other, and, the one by favour of the Weaver and the other by favour of the Trent, watered between them the whole width of England, and poured themselves respectively into the Irish Sea and the German Ocean. What a county of modest, unnoticed rivers! What a natural, simple county, content to fix its boundaries by these tortuous island brooks, with their comfortable names—Trent, Mease, Dove, Tern, Dane, Mees, Stour, Tame, and even hasty Severn! Not that the Severn is suitable to the county! In the county excess is deprecated. The county is happy in not exciting remark. It is content that Shropshire should possess that swollen bump, the Wrekin, and that the exaggerated wildness of the Peak should lie over its border. It does not desire to be a pancake like Cheshire. It has everything that England has, including thirty miles of Watling Street; and England can show nothing more beautiful and nothing uglier than the works of nature and the works of man to be seen within the limits of the county. It is England in little, lost in the midst of England, unsung by searchers after the extreme; perhaps occasionally somewhat sore at this neglect, but how proud in the instinctive cognizance of its representative features and traits!

 

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Contents

CHAPTER
CHAPTER III
IV
CIRCUIT THE TOWN AND THE DISTRICT WITH GREAT
CHAPTER VI
CHAPTER II
SINNED AGAINST THAN SINNING
II
CHAPTER V
CHAPTER VII
CHAPTER IV
CHAPTER V
BOOK II
CONSTANCE

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About the author (2015)

 Enoch Arnold Bennett (27 May 1867 – 27 March 1931) was an English writer. He is best known as a novelist, but he also worked in other fields such as journalism, propaganda and film.
Bennett won a literary competition hosted by Tit-Bits magazine in 1889 and was encouraged to take up journalism full-time. In 1894, he became assistant editor of the periodical Woman. He noticed that the material offered by a syndicate to the magazine was not very good, so he wrote a serial which was bought by the syndicate for £75 (equivalent to £10,000 in 2015). He then wrote another. This became The Grand Babylon Hotel. Just over four years later, his first novel, A Man from the North, was published to critical acclaim and he became editor of the magazine.

From 1900 he devoted himself full-time to writing, giving up the editorship. He continued to write journalism despite the success of his career as a novelist. In 1926, at the suggestion of Lord Beaverbrook, he began writing an influential weekly article on books for the Evening Standard newspaper.

As well as the novels, much of Bennett's non-fiction work has stood the test of time. One of his most popular non-fiction works, which is still read to this day, is the self-help book How to Live on 24 Hours a Day. His diaries have yet to be published in full, but extracts from them are often quoted in the British press.
For much of the 20th Century, Bennett's work was affected by the Bloomsbury intellectuals' perception; it was not until the 1990s that a more positive view of his work became widely accepted. The noted English critic John Carey was a major influence on his rediscovery. He praises him in his 1992 book, The Intellectuals and the Masses. ISBN 978-0-571-16926-9., declaring Bennett to be his "hero" because his writings "represent a systematic dismemberment of the intellectuals' case against the masses" (p. 152). Carey offers here a well-considered assessment of Bennett and his works in the more general context of the sentiments prevailing during Bennett's lifetime.

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