Old Wives' Tale

Old Wives' Tale

by Arnold Bennett
2.9 7

NOOK Book(eBook)

View All Available Formats & Editions
Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
Want a NOOK ? Explore Now


Old Wives' Tale by Arnold Bennett

With a New Introduction by Francine Prose
Commentary by Rebecca West, W. Somerset Maugham,
Virginia Woolf, H. G. Wells, Henry James, and J. B. Priestley

"        [Arnold Bennett's] superb Old Wives' Tale, wandering from person to person and from scene to scene, is by far the finest 'long novel' that has been written in English and in the English fashion, in this generation."
—H. G. Wells

First published in 1908, The Old Wives' Tale affirms the integrity of ordinary lives as it tells the story of the Baines sisters—shy, retiring Constance and defiant, romantic Sophia—over the course of nearly half a century. Bennett traces the sisters' lives from childhood in their father's drapery shop in provincial Bursley, England, during the mid-Victorian era, through their married lives, to the modern industrial age, when they are reunited as old women. The setting moves from the Five Towns of Staffordshire to exotic and cosmopolitan Paris, while the action moves from the subdued domestic routine of the Baines household to the siege of Paris during the Franco-Prussian War.

"Like Wordsworth, [Arnold Bennett] has triumphed over the habitual; he has not let it disguise the particle of beauty from him."—Rebecca West

ARNOLD BENNETT (1867-1931) looked to Flaubert, Maupassant, and Balzac for inspiration in the fashioning of his own acutely realistic novels, including his masterpiece, The Old Wives' Tale (1908). His first novel was A Man from the North (1898), and he is also known for his Clayhanger trilogy (1910-16).

The author of thirteen books offiction, FRANCINE PROSE is a
fellow of the New York Institute for the Humanities and the New York Public Library's Center for Scholars and Writers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442945005
Publisher: ReadHowYouWant
Publication date: 07/13/2009
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 888 KB

About the Author

Arnold Bennett was born in Staffordshire on 27 May 1867, the son of a solicitor. Rather than following his father into the law, Bennett moved to London at the age of twenty-one and began a career in writing . His first novel, The Man from the North, was published in 1898 during a spell as editor of a periodical - throughout his life journalism supplemented his writing career. In 1902 Bennett moved to Paris, married, and published some of his best known novels, most of which were set in The Potteries district where he grew up: Anna of the Five Towns (1902), The Old Wives Tale (1908), and the Clayhanger series (1910-1918). These works, as well as several successful plays, established him both in Europe and America as one of the most popular and acclaimed writers of his era. Bennett returned to England in 1912, and during the First World War worked for Lord Beaverbrook in the Ministry of Information. In 1921, separated from his first wife, he fell in love with an actress, Dorothy Cheston, with whom he had a child. He received the James Tait Black Award for his novel Riceyman Steps in 1923. Arnold Bennett died of typhoid in London on 27 March 1931.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

The Old Wives' Tale 2.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Don¿t let the anecdote about why Arnold Bennett wrote this book deter you. He deftly draws you into the lives of two sisters, one a homebody and one who chooses a more colorful life. Despite the book¿s length, I didn¿t want it to end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago