First published in 1908, The Old Wives’ Tale affirms the integrity of ordinary lives as it tells the story of the Baines sisters–shy, retiring Constance and defiant, romantic Sophia–over the course of nearly half a century. Bennett traces the sisters’ lives from childhood in their father’s drapery shop in provincial Bursley, England, during the mid-Victorian era, through their married lives, to the modern industrial age, when they are reunited as old women. The setting moves from the Five Towns of Staffordshire to exotic and cosmopolitan Paris, while the action moves from the subdued domestic routine of the Baines household to the siege of Paris during the Franco-Prussian War.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Arnold Bennett, a versatile and prolific writer who was one of the luminaries of the London literary scene during the early twentieth century, was born on May 27, 1867. He grew up in the environs of Hanley, Staffordshire, one of… More about Arnold Bennett