Life in Brief: Arnold Bennett

27 May 1867:       Enoch Arnold Bennett born in Henley in the Potteries district of England

1876:                      His father Enoch finds a late calling in law, moves the family of six to a larger house

1883:                       At his father’s insistence, Arnold leaves school at age 16 to work for him

1888:                  … fails his law exam and shortly decamps for London to clerk for a law firm

1889:                  … enjoys talking French and books with fellow clerk and francophile John Eland

1893:                  … publishes his first good story, A Letter Home

1894:                  … becomes an asst. editor at periodical Woman (Motto: “Forward, but not too fast”)

1898:                  … publishes his first novel, about a failed novelist, A Man from the North

1886:                  … publishes the first in a series of “sensational novels” that will allow him to…

1900:                  … leaves his editorship to write fiction (and freelance journalism) full time

1901:                  … finishes writing his earliest “Potteries” novel, Anna of the Five Towns

1903:                  … goes abroad to live and write in Paris

1903-1931:       … writes many novels, plays and nonfiction books

1904:                 … writes his mother seven separate postcards on one memorable day (31 August)

1908:                 … publishes The Old Wives’ Tale

1911:                  … feted on a grand U.S. tour

1922:                  … separates from his French wife and falls in love with an English actress

1926:                  … begins celebrated Evening Standard books column, which he’ll write until his death

1927:                  … daughter Virginia born, later president of the Arnold Bennett Society

1931:                  … passes away at home after suffering from Typhoid fever

Image: Photograph by Pirie Macdonald, Versatile Photograph


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