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Arnold Bennett Society celebrates Clayhanger centenary

arnold-bennettNovelist Arnold Bennett (1867-1931) is one of Stoke-on-Trent’s most famous sons (and oddly enough they include Robbie Williams and Slash of Guns N Roses). Bennett’s most famous works are the Clayhanger books but The Old Wives’ Tale is also well known.

These books were heavily influenced by his life in the Potteries. Arnold may have been dead for 79 years but the Arnold Bennett Society is alive and well, and still supporting those who enjoy Bennett’s writing.

This year is the centenary of the publication of Clayhanger and the Arnold Bennett Society is celebrating this anniversary at their annual conference on June 12 at the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery in Hanley. Sounds like a wonderful literary day out.

clayhangerThe Clayhanger books are a series of novels published between 1910 and 1918. They are Victorian coming-of-age stories following the life of Edwin Clayhanger as he leaves school, goes into the family business, and finds romance. Clayhanger is set in 1872 and the streets, to set the scene with Bennett’s words, are “ragged brickwork, walls finished anyhow with saggars and slag; narrow uneven alleys leading to higgledy-piggledy workshops and kilns; cottages transformed into factories and factories into cottages, clumsily, hastily, because nothing matters so long as “it will do.””

The Clayhanger day costs just £25, including lunch. To reserve a place, email the Society on arnoldbennettscty@btinternet.com

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