Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Anna of the Five Towns (Everyman's Library)
Anna of the Five Towns (Everyman's Library)
Phoenix (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ), Paperback, 07 April, 1997
Authors: Arnold Bennett, Peter Preston
ISBN: 0460876538
List Price: £5.99
Used Price: £16.93
Availability: Limited availability
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Customer Reviews

Real life 100 years ago
Like other reviewers, I didn't expect that much from this book. I only bought it because Bennett's work was praised in BBC4's Edwardian series. I found it truly absorbing. The ending lingers with me and I'll remember the characters for a long time. It's the first Arnold Bennett book I've read and I'll definitely search out some more of his work.

A "modern" victorian novel
I enjoyed this book more than I expected. It is an intelligent, well drawn debate of the role of women in society, duty and, centrally, the conflict between morality and capitalism which is almost as relevant now as in the industrial revolution when it was written. Unfortunately, some of the characters are not particularly well described. Henry Myors is an example of this, but this is relatively unimportant as he is there merely as a symbol of the attractive, successful businessman. However, the characterisation of Willie Price is similarly unsuccessful and this is more important, considering his central role in the novel. In general, however this is a well realised tragedy - Anna's involvement in the "valid" persecution of those who owe her money ultimately leads to the destruction of her happiness.

If you like Arnold Bennett and his wonderful descriptions of life in the Victorian era and the grim images of the potteries then you will like this. So far as Iam concerned Clayhanger is his masterpiece but most of his stuff is a good read although I couldn't get into the Old Wive's Tales

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