The Old Wives’ Tale by Arnold Bennett: a novel of provincial life.

We will discuss this novel of provincial life, and consider how it reflects its period and what it says to ours.  We shall be looking for key themes and at the impact the novel had on other writers.

This novel charts the changes of the nineteenth century through the lives of Constance and Sophia Baines.  Bennett’s aim was realism and naturalism. Some critics call this novel a forgotten masterpiece, what will you think?   We will be reading at home in comfortable stages so that we can share our ideas and reactions to the story developments.  We will look in detail at selected passages, and think about the overall shape and scope of the story.

Please read to the end of chapter 2, ‘The Tooth’, for discussion at the first meeting.

Course Details

This course finished on 13 December 2017