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Tales of the Five Towns

Tales of the Five Towns by Arnold Bennett
By: (1867-1931)

Tales of the Five Towns is a captivating collection of short stories by Arnold Bennett that explores the lives of ordinary people living in the fictional Midlands town of Bursley. Each story offers a unique glimpse into the daily struggles, aspirations, and relationships of the characters, creating a vivid and realistic portrait of life in a small industrial town at the turn of the 20th century.

Bennett's writing is both engaging and insightful, capturing the complexities of human nature with nuance and sensitivity. The characters are well-developed and relatable, and each story is crafted with precision and attention to detail. The author's keen observations of human behavior and societal norms add depth and complexity to the narratives, making them both thought-provoking and emotionally resonant.

Overall, Tales of the Five Towns is a compelling and thought-provoking read that offers a window into the lives of ordinary people struggling to navigate the challenges and complexities of life in a rapidly changing world. Bennett's writing is timeless and continues to resonate with readers today, making this collection a must-read for fans of classic literature.

Book Description:

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”.

Arnold Bennett (1867-1931) was born in Hanley, the eldest child of a pawnbroker who subsequently became a solicitor. Bennett’s father wished him to become a solicitor too, but he failed his university entrance examination and instead became a solicitor’s clerk, at first in his father’s office and, from 1889, in London.

He showed early promise as a writer winning a writing competition in a local newspaper as a boy. In London he began to see his writing published in popular magazines and he joined the staff of Woman magazine in 1893.

His first novel to be published, A Man from the North, appeared in 1898 and its success allowed him to give up other work to concentrate on writing. His first short story (A Letter Home) was written in 1893 and appears in Tales of the Five Towns.

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Reviews (Rated: 5 Stars - 1 review)

Reviewer: - September 13, 2013
Subject: Short stories
Very well written. Narrator does a great job reading. Unpredictable and thought provoking stories. enjoyable to the last.

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