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By: Arnold Bennett (1867-1931)

How to Live on Twenty-Four Hours a Day by Arnold Bennett How to Live on Twenty-Four Hours a Day

This book is a classic piece on self improvement teaching you to live to the fullest. Judging from the title of the book, the reader might expect that the book is a manual on how to manage your time better. Nothing could be further from the truth, this book is a flowery and witty self help book aimed at helping readers improve the quality of their lives, in fact it is one of the firsts of its kind in the world. Bennett describes the twenty four hours in a day as a miracle and that it should be used for the betterment of health, wealth, respect, pleasure and contentment...

Mental Efficiency and Other Hints to Men and Women by Arnold Bennett Mental Efficiency and Other Hints to Men and Women

Mental Efficiency and Other Hints to Men and Women is one of the many self help books that Bennett wrote, the most famous of these being How to Live 24 Hours a Day. It is highly readable, amusing and offers wisdom in an extremely palatable form. Bennett's gift for analysis and his knowledge of philosophy and psychology make this book a valuable treasure trove of handy hints to improve our lives. Though it was first published in 1911, it remains as relevant, wise and useful as it did more than a hundred years ago...

The Card by Arnold Bennett The Card

The ‘Card’ in question is Edward Henry Machin – his mother called him ‘Denry.’This light-hearted story is of his rise from humble beginnings as the son of a washerwoman and sempstress in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, in the pottery towns (which Arnold Bennett christened ‘The Five Towns’) of the English Midlands; how, by his own wits, enterprise and ‘nerve’ he rose to wealth, married bliss and public recognition as the youngest-ever mayor of his home town. “’And yet,’ demanded Councillor Barlow, ‘what’s he done? What great cause is he identified with?’‘He’s identified,’ said the speaker, ‘with the great cause of cheering us all up’.”

The Price of Love by Arnold Bennett The Price of Love

Rachel Louise Fleckring works for the elderly Mrs Maldon, and although with the woman for only a short time, she is taken into the heart of the family. She falls in love with one of Mrs Maldon’s descendents, but along the way, she has to come to terms with the fact that he isn’t, perhaps, the perfectly honest man she thought he was.

The Grand Babylon Hotel by Arnold Bennett The Grand Babylon Hotel

Theodore Racksole, a rich American multi-millionaire, buys the Grand Babylon Hotel, a luxurious hotel in London, as a whim – and then finds out there are strange things going on – a German prince is supposed to arrive but never turns up, someone is found murdered in the hotel, but then the body disappears. With the help of his independent daughter Nella and another German prince, Racksole sets out to solve the mystery.Bennett wrote this as a 15-part serial, for a lark, in 15 days, and sold it for 100 pounds. It first appeared in The Golden Penny in 1902, which described it as “the most original, amusing, and thrilling serial written in a decade”.

The Old Wives' Tale by Arnold Bennett The Old Wives' Tale

The Old Wives’ Tale is a novel by Arnold Bennett, first published in 1908. It deals with the lives of two very different sisters, Constance and Sophia Baines, following their stories from their youth, working in their mother’s draper’s shop, into old age. It is generally regarded as one of Bennett’s finest works. It covers a period of about 70 years from roughly 1840 to 1905, and is set in Burslem and Paris.

Literary Taste: How to Form It by Arnold Bennett Literary Taste: How to Form It

Arnold Bennett describes a method for enjoying literature, and suggests the contents of a comprehensive library. Chapters 1-10 and 14 describe his method for learning to enjoy literature. Chapters 11, 12, and 13 contain detailed lists of the 337 volumes required to complete a comprehensive library of English works. This reading is from the 1913 version at Project Gutenberg, and so does not contain the revisions made by Swinnerton for the 1939 edition, which included authors of the early Twentieth Century. Swinnerton’s revisions are available from Wikipedia.

Tales of the Five Towns by Arnold Bennett Tales of the Five Towns

This is a selection of short stories recounting, with gentle satire and tolerant good humour, the small town provincial life at the end of the nineteenth century, based around the six towns in the county of Staffordshire, England, known as the Potteries. Arnold Bennett chose to fictionalize these towns by changing their names and omitting one (Fenton) as he apparently felt that “Five Towns” was more euphonious than “Six Towns”. The real town names which are thinly disguised in the novel are: Hanley, Longton, Burslem and Tunstal, the fifth, Stoke became “Knype”...

Anna of the Five Towns by Arnold Bennett Anna of the Five Towns

The plot centers on Anna Tellwright, daughter of a wealthy but miserly and dictatorial father, living in the Potteries area of Staffordshire, England. Her activities are strictly controlled by the Methodist church. Having escaped her father by marrying the respectable and attractive Henry, she attempts in vain to help Willy, son of a drunken and bankrupt business associate of her father's.

The Regent by Arnold Bennett The Regent

'The Regent' is, if not a sequel to 'The Card', then a 'Further Adventures of' the eponymous hero of that novel.Denry Machin is now forty-three and begins to feel that he is getting old, that making money and a happy home life are not enough and that he has lost his touch as the entrepreneur and entertainer of the 'Five Towns'.In fact, as he says to himself 'What I want is change - and a lot of it too!'. A chance meeting at the local theatre leads to his going to London and then...

Self and Self-management: Essays about Existing by Arnold Bennett Self and Self-management: Essays about Existing

Bennett's essays always provide food for thought and bring a wry smile to the lips. Human nature, it appears, changes little over the ages, and Bennett's writing stands the test of time, though in the case of some of the essays in this eclectic collection, it is well to remember that they were written at the time of the First World War and the fight for women's suffrage.

The Human Machine by Arnold Bennett The Human Machine

Bennett asks us to consider our brains as the most wonderful machine, a machine which is the only thing in this world that we can control. As he writes: "I am simply bent on calling your attention to a fact which has perhaps wholly or partially escaped you -- namely, that you are the most fascinating bit of machinery that ever was."As ever, his prose is honeyed, his thoughts inspired, and his advice as relevant today as when it was written. (Introduction by Ruth Golding)

The Feast of St. Friend by Arnold Bennett The Feast of St. Friend

In The Feast of St. Friend, a Christmas book, Arnold Bennett shares his views on Christmas as the season of goodwill. As always, Bennett's writing includes some thought-provoking ideas liberally spiced with his wry sense of humour, and as always too, you can barely believe it was written so long ago. This was published exactly 100 years ago, in 1911. (Introduction by Ruth Golding)

Hilda Lessways by Arnold Bennett Hilda Lessways

This book is the second in Bennett’s four books about life in the Five Towns (the real life Potteries in Staffordshire). It tells the story of Hilda before her marriage to Edwin Clayhanger (from the first book). Bennett explores Hilda's ambition to make a career for herself, her coming of age and her working experiences as a shorthand clerk and keeper of a lodging house in London and Brighton. He also shows her intensifying relationship with the enigmatic George Cannon that ends in her disastrous bigamous marriage and pregnancy, and finally her reconciliation with Edwin Clayhanger

Book cover Clayhanger

This first of a trilogy of novels is a coming-of-age story set in the Midlands of Victorian England, following Edwin Clayhanger as he leaves school, takes over the family business, and falls in love.The books are set in Bennett's usual setting of "the 5 Towns", a thinly-disguised version of the six towns of "the Potteries" which amalgamated (at the time of which Bennett was writing) into the borough (and later city) of Stoke-on-Trent.In one of the earlier chapters in the book, Bennett writes that...

Book cover Buried Alive

The hero is Mr Priam Farll, a painter of considerable ability. He is, however, extremely shy – so shy that when his valet, Henry Leek, dies suddenly, the doctor believes the dead man to be Priam Farll and the live man the valet. The artist does not try to disabuse him. After the funeral (in Westminster Abbey), Priam Farll marries a widow and lives a happy life until the loss of his wife’s money means he has to take up painting again. A connoisseur of art recognises his style but thinks the paintings are by an imposter...

Book cover Sacred and Profane Love
Book cover Pretty Lady

‘The Pretty Lady’ is considered to be one of Bennett's most revealing and under-rated works. It is the story of a French prostitute, Christine, who has escaped from wartime Ostend, and set herself up in business in London. Though a refugee, she demands no pity; she is self-sufficient, practical and realistic. Christine is not a harpy preying on innocent soldiers, but a canny businesswoman, doing the best she can with the opportunities life has given her. Her main relationship is with G.J. Hoape, a wealthy man above the military age...

Book cover The Grim Smile of the Five Towns
Book cover The Feast of St. Friend
Book cover Your United States Impressions of a first visit
Book cover Journalism for Women A Practical Guide
Book cover Ghost: A Modern Fantasy

The novel opens with Carl Foster, a recently qualified doctor, coming to London to try and make his fortune. He meets a famous tenor, Signor Alresca, who suffers a dreadful injury backstage and Foster tends to him. He thus meets the lead soprano, Rosetta Rosa, and falls hopelessly in love with her.Alresca takes Foster under his wing and they travel to Alresca's home in Bruges. It is clear to Foster that Alresca has some strange obsession. Foster also notices a stranger who seems to be dogging his footsteps.Things take an even more sinister turn when Alresca inexplicably dies. . .

Book cover Over There War Scenes on the Western Front
Book cover The Author's Craft
Book cover Matador of the Five Towns and Other Stories

Twenty-two short stories by Arnold Bennett, mainly set in the 'Five Towns', Bennett's name for the pottery manufacturing towns of the English midlands

Book cover The Great Adventure
Book cover The Roll-Call
Book cover Hugo A Fantasia on Modern Themes
Book cover Books and Persons Being Comments on a Past Epoch 1908-1911
Book cover The Lion's Share
Book cover Leonora
Book cover Helen with the High Hand (2nd ed.)
Book cover A Great Man A Frolic
Book cover Mr. Prohack
Book cover The Plain Man and His Wife
Book cover Judith, a play in three acts Founded on the Apocryphal Book of Judith
Book cover The Title A Comedy in Three Acts
Book cover Roll-Call

"The Roll-Call" is the sequel to the Clayhanger trilogy. This book concerns the young life of Clayhanger's stepson, George. George Edwin Cannon (he quickly dropped the surname Clayhanger), is an architect, in many ways representing the ambitions held by his stepfather, Edwin. However, he possesses an arrogance endowed by family wealth and Bennett examines with some aplomb the difficulty of bringing up children without spoiling them. George eventually joins the army and this is a fitting finale to this fine series.

Book cover These Twain

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...

Book cover How to Live on 24 Hours a Day (version 2)

Are you really 'living', or just existing? Do you want to improve yourself or just continue to muddle through? Do you use the time given you each day, or just throw most of it away? These questions Bennett asks each of us and for those who want to really live and learn, offers very valuable advice. Time is the most precious of commodities states Bennett in this book. Many books have been written on how to live on a certain amount of money each day. And he added that the old adage "time is money" understates the matter, as time can often produce money, but money cannot produce more time...


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