‘An Arnold Bennett Companion’

The very good news is that An Arnold Bennett Companion, edited by John Shapcott, has now been published.


The cover, by the way, is one of Bennett’s own watercolours.
I’m especially interested in this book because it includes a chapter by me, on Arnold Bennett and the Great War. This is very much the case for the defence, standing up for Bennett against those like Claire Tylee, who claimed that during the War Bennett ‘simply scribbled puff for the government’s case’

I argue that, on the contrary, Bennett came out of the War rather well, respecting the need to help the war effort, but vigilant against those in England who showed tendencies towards ‘Prussianism’; he opposed the introduction of conscription; argued that soldiers should be paid adequately and that conscientious objectors and German nationals living in Britain should be treated decently. He wrote powerfully against those who used the War as an excuse to bully others.

For a fuller description of the book, here is the back cover.


I’ve not received my copy of the book yet. When I do I shall doubtless blog my comments on some of the other chapters.

You can order a copy here.



  1. Posted May 13, 2015 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    Excellent news, George! I look forward to reading the book. I agree with you about Bennett: like so many others, he had a job to do, but he also had a mind of his own, as The Pretty Lady and Lord Raingo make abundantly clear.

  2. Posted May 14, 2015 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Great cover: I hadn’t realised Bennett was a painter, too. Look forward to reading it.

Post a Comment

%d bloggers like this: