Arnold Bennett (1867-1931), mainly known as a novelist, journalist and literary critic, was born near Hanley, in the Potteries, Staffordshire, England. His father was a solicitor. For sometime he edited a magazine for women. His first novel, A man from the North (1898) brought him some success as a writer and encouraged by thus he devoted himself entirely to literature. Bennett lived in France from 1900 to 1908 and there married a French woman.
His next important novel Anna of the Five Towns appeared in 1902, but his best and the most well-known of his novels ‘The Old Wives’ Tale(1908) assured him of his place in literature. Among his other popular novels are Clay Hanger (1910), Hilda Less ways(1911), These Twain (1916), The Clay-hanger Family(1925), The Strange Vanguard(1928), Accident(1929) and Imperial Palace(1930).
Bennett was also a writer of short stories and plays. Among his stories the best known are Tales of Five Towns (1905). The grim Smile of the Five Towns (1907). The Matador of the Five Towns (1912), Elsie and the Child (1924), and The Woman who Stole everything (1927). He wrote some plays, such as, Gates of Wrath (1903), What the Public Wants (1909) The Great Adventure (1913), The Love Match (1922) Mr. Prohack (1927).
The following are some books of autobiographical and critical interest by Arnold Bennett:
The Truth about an Author (1903)
How to Become an Author (1903)
Literary Taste (1909)
Arnold Bennett has been praised by critics for the realistic pictures of provincial life in his novels and stories and objectivity in his essays and sketches. In the early twentieth century he was one of the few writers who had modern consciousness.