By Margaret Drabble

'Arnold Bennett was once born in a highway known as desire highway. A highway much less hopeful it'd be challenging to imagine.' therefore starts off Margaret Drabble's biography of a guy whose most renowned success was once to re-create, in such novels as The outdated better halves' Tale and Clayhanger, the lifestyles, surroundings and personality of the 'Five cities' quarter within which he used to be born and grew up.

Arnold Bennett is a truly own publication. 'What pursuits me', writes the writer, 'is Bennett's historical past, his early life and origins, for they're similar to my very own. My mother's kin got here from the Potteries, and the Bennett novels appear to me to painting a life-style that also existed whilst i used to be a baby, and certainly persists in definite components. So like any books this has been in part an act of self-exploration.'

Of Bennett as a author Drabble says 'The top books i believe are very wonderful certainly, at the optimum point, deeply relocating, unique and working with fabric that I had by no means prior to encountered in fiction, yet in basic terms in lifestyles: i think they've been underrated, and my reaction to them is so consistent, even after years of labor on them and incessant re-readings, that i would like to speak enthusiasm.'

Of Bennett as a guy she paints an affectionate portrait, no longer glossing over the irritability, dyspepsia and stress which now and then made him so tricky a spouse yet reminding us too of his honesty, kindliness and sensitivity. 'Many a time,' she writes on the finish of the booklet, 're-reading a singular, studying a letter or a section of his Journal, i've got desired to shake his hand, or to thank him, to claim good performed. i've got written this instead.'

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Arnold Bennett: A Biography by Margaret Drabble

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