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This blog makes liberal use of AB's journals, letters, travel notes, and other sources.

And make sure to visit The Arnold Bennett Society for expert information and comment on all aspects of the life and work of AB.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

New beginnings

Wednesday, February 16th., Fulham Park Gardens, London.

The preoccupation of removing to a new house is now almost over, after three days of incessant manual work, arranging books, clothes, furniture, and pictures. A householder for the first time I found myself yesterday wandering without aim through the house, staring at finished rooms, and especially at the terracotta effects of my new study, with a vague satisfaction. But stronger, more insistent than this satisfaction, is the feeling of graver and complicated responsibilities, and a sort of anxiety for the future.
And I wonder, at the age of 30, whether the great game is worth the candle?
I return with regretful fancy to the time when, with lighter cares and the highest hopes that ignorance could induce, I lived in Raphael Street, and in Cowley Street, on about 15s. a week.

See also January 27th. - "A Practical Philosopher".

Last night I set to work on a long criticism of George Moore.

As I opened the front door this morning to leave for the office, the postman put a parcel in my hand. It was from John Lane, and it contained the first copy of my first book, "A Man from the North". I untied it hastily, and after glancing at the cover, gave it to Tertia to read. Tonight I looked through the tale, picking out my favourite bits. The style seemed better than I had hoped for.

A Man from the North was Arnold Bennett's first novel - published in 1898. Fleeing a drab and 
dead-end existence, Richard Larch moves south from Bursley to London, intent upon pursuing a career as a writer. Great things are expected of him by those he has left behind, but will he fulfil their expectations and publish a novel, or be consumed by all the metropolis has to offer? 
He is also looking for companionship and love, but finds his high hopes dashed when life in the capital is fraught with difficulties, and a glittering career proves to be more elusive than anticipated. Melancholic and starkly realistic.

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