Synopses & Reviews
The Old Wives' Tale
(1908) celebrates the romance of even the most ordinary lives as it tells the story of the two Baines sisters, placid stay-at-home Constance and rebellious Sophia, from their girlhood to their last days. They move from the family drapery shop in provincial Bursley during the repressive mid-Victorian period to old age in the modern era of mass marketing and the internal combustion engine. The setting ranges from the Wesleyan Methodist chapel in Bursley to a Paris brothel, the action from the controlled domestic routine of the Baines household to wife murder and the Siege of Paris during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1.
This edition of The Old Wives' Tale gives fascinating critical insights into Bennett's most wide-ranging novel, considered by many to be his masterpiece.
About the Author
Professor of English Literature at the University of Sydney, Margaret Harris is also the editor of Arnold Bennett's Anna of the Five Towns
, published in World's Classics in January 1995.