'Deeply moving, original, and dealing with material that I had never encountered in fiction, but only in life' Margaret Drabble
Growing up in the world of the 'five towns' of industrial England, with their furnaces and chimneys, huddled red-brown streets, prayer meetings and small-minded bigotry, Anna is dominated by her miserly and tyrannical father. When she inherits a fortune and finds love, she struggles to break free from the constraints upon her, even though she is torn between duty and her deepest feelings. Arnold's novel of parental tyranny and rebellion is a portrayal of a woman of great spirit, complexity and integrity.
Arnold Bennett (1867-1931) was one of the most versatile, ambitious and successful British novelists of the early 20th century. His novels and short stories both celebrate and deplore a rapidly changing Britain. Much of his greatest work is set where he grew up, in the Potteries of the West Midlands. Inspired by Zola and Maupassant, he realized that this world of brutal industrial work and rapid social change, religious severity and material temptation, was the perfect backdrop for everything from comedy to tragedy. He died of typhoid.