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These Twain

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By: (1867-1931)

These Twain by Arnold Bennett is a captivating and thought-provoking novel that delves into the complexities of human relationships and societal expectations. The story follows the lives of two siblings, Hilda and Edwin Clayhanger, as they navigate the challenges of love, ambition, and family dynamics in early 20th century England.

Bennett's impeccable storytelling and rich character development keeps the reader thoroughly engaged throughout the book. The sibling relationship between Hilda and Edwin is particularly compelling, as they each struggle to find their own paths in life while grappling with the weight of familial obligations and societal conventions.

The novel also offers a poignant commentary on the limitations imposed by social class and gender roles during this time period, shedding light on the ways in which individuals were often constrained by the expectations of others.

Overall, These Twain is a beautifully written and emotionally resonant novel that will appeal to readers who enjoy immersive historical fiction that explores the intricacies of human nature and relationships. Bennett's keen insights and adept prose make this a timeless classic that continues to resonate with audiences today.

Book Description:
Hilda is saved from destitution by Edwin Clayhanger who marries her. The two, with Hilda's son by her disastrous 'marriage' to George Cannon, are living in Bursley. Edwin does not enjoy an entirely happy marriage with Hilda because of her outspokenness. Hilda has strong opinions on matters which at the time were considered to be a male preserve – for example, on Edwin’s business. She also does things without telling him. As a consequence, Edwin has his doubts about their marriage and is angered by his wife just as he had been by his father. The book shows how Hilda and Edwin attempt to compromise, its title being a play on words: does it mean "these two" or "these separate"? It is suggested that they had both become perhaps too set in their ways before their marriage, even though each was in some way 'saved' by their union.

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