The study and appreciation of the life, works and times of Arnold Bennett

Riceyman Steps – Edited by John Shapcott

Arnold Bennett’s 1923 prize-winning novel Rieyman Steps is one of the great modernist masterpieces of the twentieth century. 

The seemingly simple story is about a second-hand bookseller and miser, Henry Earlforward who courts and marries the sprightly widow Violet Arb.  Their devoted servant, Elsie, is finding it difficult to cope with her shell-shocked lover, Joe.  This quartet plays out ‘an astounding story of love and death’ in the setting of a historically detailed evocation of Clerkenwell. 

Behind this bare outline is an engrossing tale of secularism manipulation, the warning of desire by the love of money, the pent-up frustration and violence of a world recovering from the Great War, and the possibility of redemption through love. 

Churnet Valley Books 01538399033

ISBN 9781904546818.     £9.95

Also available from Barewall Gallery in Burslem

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