A Novel

Cover image for


Author: Arnold Bennett
Published: 1903
Language: English
Wordcount: 75,691 / 222 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 67.9
LoC Category: PR
Downloads: 923
Added to site: 2004.11.16
mnybks.net#: 9345
Origin: gutenberg.org

Leonora of Five Towns is thinking, on her fortieth birthday, that she has lived a humdrum, unromantic life in quiet wealth with her three daughters and a husband from whom she has grown apart. Romance comes to her when her husband's former partner's son returns from America, a successful and dominant man. How he and Leonora conquer the evil tendencies of their affection and control the new tumult of their hearts is most interestingly told. To find a character in a modern novel whose ideas of right over wrong rule, and rule so strongly that even when she, by the death of her husband is, in a sense, free, she still makes her inclinations and emotions subserve her sense of duty, and to find a man who agrees with her--this is a worthy literary novelty.

Show Excerpt

t have you been doing all the afternoon?'

'I haven't been doing anything, Ma.'

Leonora feared for the strict veracity of her youngest, but she said nothing, and Milly retired full of annoyance against the inconceivable caprices of parents.

At twenty minutes to seven John Stanway entered his large and handsome dining-room, having been driven home by David Dain, whose residence was close by. Three languorous women and the erect and motionless parlourmaid behind the door were waiting for him. He went straight to his carver's chair, and instantly the women were alert, galvanised into vigilant life. Leonora, opposite to her husband, began to pour out the tea; the impassive parlourmaid stood consummately ready to hand the cups; Ethel and Millicent took their seats along one side of the table, with an air of nonchalance which was far from sincere; a chair on the other side remained empty.

'Turn the gas on, Bessie,' said John. Daylight had scarcely begun to fail; but nevertheless the man's tone announced

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