Arnold Bennett Quote

It is difficult to make a reputation, but is even more difficult seriously to mar a reputation once properly made --- so faithful is the public.

Arnold Bennett

It is difficult to make a reputation, but is even more difficult seriously to mar a reputation once properly made --- so faithful is the public.

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About Arnold Bennett

Enoch Arnold Bennett (27 May 1867 – 27 March 1931) was an English author, best known as a novelist. He wrote prolifically: between the 1890s and the 1930s he completed 34 novels, seven volumes of short stories, 13 plays (some in collaboration with other writers), and a daily journal totalling more than a million words. He wrote articles and stories for more than 100 newspapers and periodicals, worked in and briefly ran the Ministry of Information in the First World War, and wrote for the cinema in the 1920s. The sales of his books were substantial, and he was the most financially successful British author of his day.
Born into a modest but upwardly mobile family in Hanley, in the Staffordshire Potteries, Bennett was intended by his father, a solicitor, to follow him into the legal profession. Bennett worked for his father, before moving to another law firm in London as a clerk, aged 21. He became assistant editor and then editor of a women's magazine, before becoming a full-time author in 1900. Always a devotee of French culture in general and French literature in particular, he moved to Paris in 1903; there the relaxed milieu helped him overcome his intense shyness, particularly with women. He spent ten years in France, marrying a Frenchwoman in 1907. In 1912 he moved back to England. He and his wife separated in 1921 and he spent the last years of his life with a new partner, an English actress. He died in 1931 of typhoid fever, having unwisely drunk tap-water in France.
Many of Bennett's novels and short stories are set in a fictionalised version of the Staffordshire Potteries, which he called The Five Towns. He strongly believed that literature should be accessible to ordinary people, and he deplored literary cliques and élites. His books appealed to a wide public and sold in large numbers. For this reason, and for his adherence to realism, writers and supporters of the modernist school, notably Virginia Woolf, belittled him, and his fiction became neglected after his death. During his lifetime his journalistic "self-help" books sold in substantial numbers, and he was also a playwright; he did less well in the theatre than with novels, but achieved two considerable successes with Milestones (1912) and The Great Adventure (1913).
Studies by Margaret Drabble (1974), John Carey (1992) and others have led to a re-evaluation of Bennett's work. His finest novels, including Anna of the Five Towns (1902), The Old Wives' Tale (1908), Clayhanger (1910) and Riceyman Steps (1923), are now widely recognised as major works.