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Hilda Lessways Paperback – 13 Jul 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Dodo Press (13 July 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1406547875
  • ISBN-13: 978-1406547870
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.9 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,084,848 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Bennett writes magnificently of the little movements of the spirit in its daily routine --Margaret Drabble --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Enoch Arnold Bennett, the son of a solicitor, was born in Hanley, Staffordshire in 1867. He was educated locally and at London University, before working initially as a solicitor's clerk, but soon turned to writing popular serial fiction and editing a women's magazine. After the publication of his first novel, 'A Man from the North' in 1898 he became a professional writer and some of his best and most enduring and acclaimed work, including 'Anna of the Five Towns', 'The Old Wives' Tale', 'Clayhanger', 'The Card' and 'Hilda Lessways' followed over the next twelve years. Soon after the outbreak of the First World War, Bennett was invited to join the War Propaganda Bureau, concerned with finding ways of best promoting Britain's interests. He was in good company, as others who contributed to this effort included Conan Doyle, John Masefield, G. K. Chesterton, Sir Henry Newbolt, John Galsworthy, Thomas Hardy, Rudyard Kipling, Gilbert Parker, G. M. Trevelyan and H. G. Wells. Bernard Shaw knew nothing of the Bureau, but attacked what he believed to be jingoistic articles and poems being produced by British writers. Bennett was the one chosen to defend their actions. He served on a War Memorial Committee at the invitation of the then Minister of Information, Lord Beaverbrook, and was also appointed director of British propaganda in France. His spells in Paris added to his reputation as a man of cosmopolitan and discerning tastes. After the War he inevitably returned to writing novels and also became a director of the 'New Statesman'. Bennett's great reputation is built upon the success of his novels and short stories set in the Potteries, an area of north Staffordshire that he recreated as the 'Five Towns'. 'Anna of the Five Towns' and 'The Old Wives' Tale' show the influence of Flaubert, Maupassant and Balzac as Bennett describes provincial life in great detail. Arnold Bennett is an important link between the English novel and European realism. He wrote several plays and lighter works such as 'The Grand Babylon Hotel' and 'The Card'. Arnold Bennett died in 1931. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was glad to read this having enjoyed “Clayhanger” – it was fascinating to get the other side of the story and Hilda is an interesting, complex and often unsympathetic character. However I don’t think I could recommend “Hilda Lessways” as a stand alone book. I suspect I would have given up after a hundred pages or so, asking “Why am I reading this?” if I didn’t already know why I was reading it.

As well as the free download I also had an old paperback, with Janet Suzman on the cover, from the 1976 TV series (which I didn’t see). Ann odd choice, not because her looks are wrong – they strike me a spot on – but because she looks (and was) much too old, being 37 at the time.
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Format: Paperback
Having read the 'Old Wives' Tale' I knew the pace would be slower than we have come to expect from modern novels. But once I got into it, I really enjoyed the victorian approach. Hilda, the 'heroine' is so horrid, so unsympathetic, I found myself gritting my teeth and willing her to come unstuck. And she does! Hoping that she is left foundering in Brighton, it's a shame that Clayhanger catches up with her and rescues her. She is such a misery and he is so lovely; he deserves better, but that's love for you! as you can see, I got quite involved with these people, so the victorian novel still has a lot to offer. Personalities are timeless, and it is so well written. Bennett is a treasure. Vowed to read everything I can find by him.
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Format: Paperback
"In HILDA LESSWAYS (the second volume of the trilogy that begins with CLAYHANGER and ends with THESE TWAIN) Bennett relates the early life of Hilda Lessways, before her marriage to Edwin Clayhanger. Her involvement with the enigmatic, self-made man, George Cannon, and his enterprises takes her from the offices of an embryo newspaper in the Five Towns to a venture into the guesthouse business in Brighton."

"As in CLAYHANGER Bennett, in Walter Allen's words, `follows the grain of life'. Hilda, in her guilt at having failed her mother, in her relationship with Cannon, in her growing fascination for young Clayhanger, in the reality of her hopes and tragedies, is one of Bennett's most living heroines."
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I first read this book as a teenager and I remembered it quite differently. Probably due to the intervening forty years of 'life' which has given it a different perspective. I now view Hilda with far more sympathy.
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Format: Hardcover
Having read the first volume of the Clayhanger trilogy, my wife asked me to get the second and third volumes. We had both seen the TV broadcast some years ago and she couldn't put the book down! Arnold Bennett was a great story teller and brought the characters to life.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This, the second book in the Clayhanger series, is the story of Hilda, Edwin Clayhanger's sweetheart. Hilda is exasperating, and yet not unsympathetic, we grow to understand her. But having once given our allegiance to Edwin we can hardly take the part of Hilda. You've guessed: there is conflict, there is drama. The which (Bennett's contruction!) makes for an engaging read so that the reader gradually becomes involved in the story and stays with it.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Glad I read it but does not match Clayhanger.Bennett has shown elsewhere he can create strong female characters but this time he seems to get lost in her complexity. It certainly cannot stand alone like Clayhanger.At least it forces one to read These Twain.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Hilda Lessways is the middle book of a trilogy. I have read the first and third books, 'Clayhanger' and 'These Twain' many times over the years. For some reason, I was not aware then that there was a middle volume. Now I have made the discovery. I found the book fascinating - difficult to put down. I recommend the trilogy highly but while they make a very good read, they should be read in order.
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