Re-Appraisal Reading Circle

January 23, 2015 @ 6:00 pm
Salem Athenaeum
337 Essex Street
MA 01970

Arnold Bennett. John Buchan. Francis Marion Crawford. These popular and prolific authors of the past may have fallen out of fashion, but they crafted wonderful stories worthy of our attention and enjoyment.

You are invited to help us review these worthy though dusty novels from the Athenæum’s stacks!

The Collections Committee is starting the Re-Appraisal Reading Circle and invites Athenæum members to participate in this new group! Select a book from the chosen author’s oeuvre and join us to discuss at a monthly meeting on Fridays at 6:00 PM. Books by the author available for check-out are prominently displayed in the Reading Room so you may select one to read at your leisure before the meeting. (Many works are also available online for little or no cost.)

Who was Arnold Bennett?
Primarily a writer of realistic fiction, English author Arnold Bennett wrote over 80 pieces of which the Athenaeum owns 28.

All but forgotten on this side of the Atlantic, Bennett was one of the four most popular Edwardian novelists (along with Conrad, Wells, and Galsworthy). An Arnold Bennett Society exists today in England–what about his life and works has kept his memory alive there? (e.g. London’s Savoy Hotel still offers an Arnold Bennett Omelet.)

Recently Margaret Drabble wrote a biographical tribute to him. Why did Ezra Pound and Virginia Wolfe turn up their noses at him?

Are his works worth reading after 100 years? Is there more than historical interest in his vision, wit, and their rendering?

Read a Bennett and share your discoveries on January 23. You are not required to finish a book. Anyone interested in literary discussion is welcome to participate.

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