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Anna of the Five Towns (Edwardian Collection) Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged


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From the Publisher

Founded in 1906 by J.M. Dent, the Everyman Library has always tried to make the best books ever written available to the greatest number of people at the lowest possible price. Unique editorial features that help Everyman Paperback Classics stand out from the crowd include: a leading scholar or literary critic's introduction to the text, a biography of the author, a chronology of her or his life and times, a historical selection of criticism, and a concise plot summary. All books published since 1993 have also been completely restyled: all type has been reset, to offer a clarity and ease of reading unique among editions of the classics; a vibrant, full-color cover design now complements these great texts with beautiful contemporary works of art. But the best feature must be Everyman's uniquely low price. Each Everyman title offers these extensive materials at a price that competes with the most inexpensive editions on the market-but Everyman Paperbacks have durable binding, quality paper, and the highest editorial and scholarly standards. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Enoch Arnold Bennett, the son of a solicitor, was born in Hanley, Staffordshire. At twenty-one, he moved to London, initially to work as a solicitor's clerk, but he 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. He moved to Paris and became a man of cosmopolitan and discerning tastes. 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. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Edwardian Collection
  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Assembled Stories; Unabridged edition (March 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1860150128
  • ISBN-13: 978-1860150128
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 6.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By agilicairn on April 26, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Described by the prolific author as "my serious novel," _Anna_ is the story of a young woman's struggles to free herself from the oppression of her domineering father. The title character is given a chance to live undreamed-of experiences when she inherits a fortune in properties and business ventures on her 21st birthday. Simultaneously, she finds herself the declared object of affection of one of the town's most desirable men. As her story unfolds, she is attracted to another man, more vulnerable, and must try to resolve many different demands on her sense of duty and her emotions.
Set in the early 1900's, Bennett succeeds in evoking a strong sense of place with his fictionalized Five Towns of the Staffordshire Potteries. Critics have praised his full description of Methodism and Methodist church life of the time, as well. Bennett conveys sympathy for his protagonist and portrays the limitations placed on her for her gender without falling into condescension, concluding, "She had sucked in with her mother's milk the profound truth that a woman's life is always a renunciation, greater or less."
Anna's attempts to expand herself spiritually and personally, and to gain a sense of personal efficacy, make for an interesting read. However, Bennett violates flagrantly the old writer's adage, "Show not tell," as when we are told repeatedly Anna's father is a miser and a tyrant long before we see him saying or doing anything miserly or tyrannical. Further, anyone looking for an intensely psychological novel with thoughts portrayed as stream of consciousness should be aware that Bennett's style descends from a Realist tradition.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Bomojaz on February 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
When Anna turns 18, she inherits a large sum of money (and property) from her dead mother. Her miserly and cruel father discourages her from spending a penny of it and even forces her to extract high rents from her tenants. As if this weren't enough trouble, she falls in love with Harry Mynors who is only interested in her money. When she realizes this, she has become so used to this kind of treatment that she decides to marry him anyway. Naturalistic and depressing, Bennett portrays his main characters well. Poor Anna--you really feel for her by the end of the book.
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Format: Paperback
This is a really superb story, and it would be a great intro in to other fiction dealing with women- like the Yellow Wallpaper and The Awakening. I read it because I loved the Old Wives Tale, and I wondered if it would work as an introductory piece to my feminist lit unit. The nice thing about this work is that, unlike Austen, it's incisive social observation that (SPOILER) doesn't end happily. I found the language, the slow and deliberate pacing, the exploration of class and social norms, to be just marvelous. I'm not sure how engrossing it would be to people who don't love good old fashioned literature- but if you do, this story will amply reward you. I found some really interesting vocabulary words in this I had not come across before- so that was fun too. (Coaming, for example- which I think in my Kindle version was spelled "combing"- is a raised area around a hatch on a boat to prevent water from entering)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found the story to be a fascinating look at how women were treated and valued in historical times. The ending definitley had me thinking!
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By Amazon Customer on March 21, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I did find this book a little on the hard side to get in to. However I must say I had no trouble in finishing it.
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