- Title: Anna of the Five Towns
- Author: Arnold Bennett
- ISBN: 9781784872366
- Page: 146
- Format: Paperback
Miserly and mysterious, the richest man in the Five Towns lives simply, ruling his household with an iron fist and a cruel temper His daughter, Anna, is used to the life of strict, thrifty order imposed by her father But when she comes of age, Anna inherits a small fortune and attracts the attentions of the town s most eligible bachelor A new world seems to be opening tMiserly and mysterious, the richest man in the Five Towns lives simply, ruling his household with an iron fist and a cruel temper His daughter, Anna, is used to the life of strict, thrifty order imposed by her father But when she comes of age, Anna inherits a small fortune and attracts the attentions of the town s most eligible bachelor A new world seems to be opening to Anna, but her heart, given a taste of freedom, leads her in unexpected directions.
Recent Comments "Anna of the Five Towns"
I loved this book. It had everything, men, moods and money and maybe murder, very melodramatic. What more do you want in a Victorian potboiler? It would make a wonderful Hollywood movie Plenty of opportunity for some thin, big-eyed, dark-haired beauty to lean out of a window and emote, panting fetchingly as her bosom heaves up and down and her eyes fill with glycerine tears. This isn't a plot-based novel, but one that is full of detail and seems to be a realistic depiction of life for a young wo [...]
A plot summary would make this short, but perfectly formed novel sound parochial, unoriginal and maybe dull. It is not. Bennett is a wonderful observer and writer of the small-scale aspects that make life real and characters spring to life. He's also pretty good at writing female characters. In fact, by far the weakest character is male: the faultless Henry Mynors. In many ways, my life is utterly different from Anna's, but in some key ways, I can identify with her more than I might wish to. Thi [...]
As everybody knows there are just two types of people in the world, however as many suspect, there is some disagreement as to who they are. Some say the rich and the poor, others the hungry and the fed, a few with a touch of whimsy might suggest women and men, or old and young. If however you've a sense of the depth and breadth of the division between the reserved and the expansive, then you can appreciate the muted tones of this book.This is a novel in which small things said, or not said, coun [...]
This was my first experience with Arnold Bennett’s fiction; I’d previously read his Literary Taste. (He is not to be confused, as I’ve done in the past, with novelist and playwright Alan Bennett (An Uncommon Reader, etc.)!) Bennett (1867–1931) was from the Potteries region of Staffordshire and moved to London in his early twenties to work in a law office. Anna of the Five Towns (1902) was his second novel and first moderate success, but it was The Old Wives’ Tale (1908) and the Clayhan [...]
On this occasion, judging a book by its cover worked out very well for me. My eye was initially caught by the title – I still have a childish fondness for characters with my name. Then the arresting self-portrait by Gwen John on the cover convinced me to buy it for 50p from a charity shop. I’d maybe half-heard of the title ‘Anna of the Five Towns’, without having any specific preconceptions. In form and content it reminded me of The Rector's Daughter and The Post-Office Girl, both sensit [...]
Sconosciuto. Fino a pochi mesi fa, per me, questa parola rispecchiava questo romanzo e il suo autore. Avevo già sentito nominare o avevo letto questo titolo da qualche parte, ma non sapevo qual’era la sua trama. Complice un’interessante recensione che ho letto proprio qui su internet, in cui si diceva che l’autore si fosse ispirato al libro di Balzac, “Eugenie Grandet”, mi è venuta una voglia matta di leggerlo. È capitato che proprio in quei giorni abbia trovato il romanzo all’usa [...]
I loved this novel because, as I heard somewhere, it raised the ordinary to extraordinary.And that's exactly what makes this a thrilling novel. Nothing exceptional goes on, just what life for a young woman in an industrial village at the end of the XIX century might have been like. Unadorned and real.Anna is an ordinary girl, who leads a simple existence with her tyrannical father and her younger half sister. She performs her duties without complaint, without any fuss or expectations. She is hum [...]
Anna Tellwright is one of my favourite heroines, coming a close third after Emma Bovary and Tess Durbeyfield. Arnold Bennett, like Hardy, depicts his heroine with warmth and affection, compassionate in her suffering and tolerant of her faults. Writing this novel before D.H. Lawrence's Brangwen novels were published, but working with similar settings, characters and themes, Bennett puts before us poor, narrow-minded and bigoted communities, but he never loses his sense of fun, exaggerating Ephrai [...]
Arnold Bennett's powerful story of love, tyranny and rebellion set against the vitality and harshness of life in the Staffordshire Potteries in the late nineteenth century, dramatised by Helen Edmundson.Brought up in the repressive tradition of Methodism by her miserly father, Anna Tellwright dreams of independence and freedom. On coming of age she learns that she is to inherit a fortune and realises that she is loved by the charismatic Henry Mynors. But with the money comes responsibility and a [...]
Delightful classic. Sad ending but the story was enjoyable nevertheless.
I picked up this book in a used bookstore in Preston, England, knowing nothing about Bennett. And while I enjoyed the writing and particularly some of the family portraits he lays out, the crux of the book -- Anna's relationships with men -- doesn't quite work for me (don't worry, no spoiler alert needed).Anna lives in one of the "Five Towns" near Liverpool renowned for their pottery making and coal mining, and Bennett does not spare the cityscapes from caustic descriptions. Her father is a mise [...]
Un po’ terra natale del realista inglese Arnold Bennett, Le “Cinque Città” sono quella parte dello Staffordshire chiamata “Potteries” (Terrecotte), in relazione alle sue fabbriche, oppure proprio “Five Towns” (appunto le Cinque Città). Cresciuta dove le angherie morali del dispotico padre erano all’ordine del giorno, Anna Tellwright si trova tout après al centro dell'interesse di Henry Mynors, bello, intelligente, nonché pilastro dell’industria locale.L’universo malinconi [...]
Having read a little about Arnold Bennett and knowing, roughly, the story of Clayhanger, I decided to give this a go. I have had this book for years having bought it as a part of a set of 3. Brighton Rock being the book I bought the set for originally. I couldn't believe how great this slight novel is. I couldn't put it down. Bennett counjours up the grim beauty of Stoke-on-Trent at the turn of the century really vividly. His characters are extremely vivid, especially Ephraim Tellwright and of c [...]
At first, this seemed wooden and dated, a pale imitation of Trollope or Eliot, who had been writing in a similar vein two generations earlier. Initially, I found the main source of interest in the detailed descriptions of the industrial landscape of "The Five Towns", a kind of verbal Lowry, if the latter had painted the Potteries rather than Manchester.Then, I became hooked by Bennett's portrayal of the main characters, which in time seemed to me more realistic and telling than his more celebrat [...]
Anna of the Five Towns is an example of an intrinsically Victorian genre, the Industrial Novel, and as such can be read on the political as well as the personal level. Bennett’s novel was published in 1902 when industrialisation was firmly entrenched in British society. The Five Towns are a fictionalised Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire, centre of the English ceramics industry known as ‘the potteries’. Bennett grew up in Staffordshire, but left it for London as a young man. Although no doub [...]
The further I got into this book, the more impressed I became. Not just by the novel itself, but by the fact it was written by a man. It's such a sensitive and powerful portrayal of daughter-to-father obedience/loyalty vs. the struggle of personal conscience and sense of justice. Anna is such an appealing woman, similar to Jane Eyre in her strong sense of individuality and resistance to pressure from any quarter. I loved the revival scenes - how often do you get to see the negative side of good [...]
Excellent. Arnold Bennett has such a wonderful way of capturing the way people think and speak - or rather as they thought and spoke 100 ago.I used to live in the Stoke on Trent area and am at home with the dialect words and phrases. Also with the area. Arnold Bennett uses slightly fictionalised names for the towns (Bursley instead of Burslem, for instance) and streets (Trafalgar Street instead of Waterloo Road) so anybody familiar with the area knows exactly where his characters live, where the [...]
In the last year I have read two powerful novels by Arnold Bennett, Anna of the Five Towns and The Old Wives’ Tale. Both books are first rate, and I wonder why Bennett is not more widely known. Anna of the Five Towns tells the story of the struggle of a young woman to gain independence from her miserly and controlling father at the end of the nineteenth century. (She succeeds but pays a price) The Old Wives’ Tale tells the intertwining stories of two sisters over the space of a lifetime and [...]
I really loved this and despite the fact she had a pretty unhappy life - tyrannical father, loveless marriage, death of the man she loves - I still think it is an uplifting story as even while she is pragmatic she never really let go of her morals and values and I think she will be strong enough to survive on her own terms. So loved this.
The scene that really stood out for me when I read this bookmany years ago was when Anna tasted chocolate for the firsttime, I have never forgotten it. It didn't have quite the powerthis time round but the irony was that Anna was the daughterof the town's richest man and the girl who so blithely sharedthe sweets was Beatrice Sutton whose family was to play such an important part in Anna's life.When Anna comes of age her father gives her her mother's inheritance- deeds and stocks and property val [...]
What an austerely beautiful novel. It took me back to reading D.H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf as a teen (same era and same country). It moved me and made me cry and it horrified me emotionally a little. I wouldn't say it's a masterpiece by any means - it is ordinary - but, gentle and easy to read, it worked for me for obscure reasons. Probably because it is subtle, and real, and sad. Set in a small town of the Staffordshire Potteries at the turn of the nineteenth century, Anna, the main charact [...]
Un buon romanzo tipicamente vittoriano dalla prosa essenziale che, nell'intreccio, risente dell'influenza d Balzac e Turgenev, ambientato in un distretto industriale che l'autore descrive cercando di infondergli, paradossalmente, una certa bellezza. Anna è una figlia sottomessa ad un padre avaro, meschino e tirannico, una ragazza sensibile, che vive con disagio anche una difficile conversione. Sente molto la sua miserevole situazione, sebbene abbia ereditato una cospicua dote, sopratutto in con [...]
I had never read anything by Arnold Bennett before this, but now definitely want to read more of his. It's a powerful turn of the 20th century novel set in the Potteries, which is said to have been influenced by Balzac and has a similarly grim, closed-in feeling. The heroine, Anna, is the daughter of a rich but miserly businessman, who delights in controlling every aspect of her life, and wants to turn her into someone in his image - but she yearns to escape. The whole community is compellingly [...]
Don't let the seemingly pedestrian, workhorse-like prose fool you: this novel pack a wallop. I can say, without exaggeration, that it is one of the most moving works of fiction I've read in a very long time.
I wish I could give this 3.5 stars. It was somewhat painful to read, and I was left feeling puzzled about the surprise ending.
What a pleasant and surprising read, well, actually I listened to the audio book. Arnold Bennett is very classic and I will be searching for more books by this author, what a gem.
re-read via BBC4 dramatisation starting Sunday 6th March
The first major novel from an Edwardian British writer who ought to have his critical dues for a long long time. Clearly Arnold Bennett is indebted to the nineteenth century realists--Flaubert, Zola, Maupassant, George Moore--for his technique which is evidently not "modernist", rather solidly (though not stolidly) old-fashioned. And like Trollope Bennett was not ashamed to admit to writing for money, which rules his works out for the "art for art's sake" literary aesthetes. Yet at his best Benn [...]
Hmmm I like it but not as much as The Old Wives tale. The story is good. The relationship between Anna and her father is brilliantly used to exemplify the status of women even women of apparently independent means, in the late nineteenth century. However, the development of the attachments between Anna and Minors and especially Anna and Willie Price are just too thin and the ending is unconvincing.
Anna of the Five Towns is a short, potent story about the working class of Victorian England. Bennett writes with a simple and effective flair, bringing his characters to life in a way that evokes real sympathy. The tragedy that befalls one of the factory-owners and his son, harrassed by mulitple debts, is pretty heartbreaking. All in all, I found this generally unheard of story to be something I will remember well.
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