A story that opens in the Five Towns, for which Arnold Bennett is so famous. Edwin Henry Machin, successful business man, becomes bored with provincial life in Staffordshire. Wanting to "spread his wings" he goes to London. What happens to him is the theme of this excellent novel.
his time in the bathroom--and he could not!--he wisely gave a special care to the drawing-room, and he loved it as one always loves that upon which one has bestowed benefits. He was proud of the drawing-room, and he had the right to be. The principal object in it, at night, was the electric chandelier, which would have been adequate for a lighthouse. Edward Henry's eyes were not what they used to be; and the minor advertisements in the Signal--which constituted his sole evening perusals--often lacked legibility. Edward Henry sincerely believed in light and heat; he was almost the only person in the Five Towns who did. In the Five Towns people have fires in their grates--not to warm the room, but to make the room bright. Seemingly they use their pride to keep themselves warm. At any rate, whenever Edward Henry talked to them of radiators, they would sternly reply that a radiator did not and could not brighten a room. Edward Henry had made the great discovery that an efficient chandelier will brighten
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