The Purveyor of Popular Fiction
Virginia Woolf unkindly called Bennett ‘a tradesman’ – and up to a point one sees what she meant. He did not thrive on the rarefied air of Bloomsbury: he was Enoch Arnold Bennett, late of Burslem and the Six Towns, Purveyor of Popular Fiction to the General Reader. He knew it, and it satisfied him – as well it might, for at one time he earned more than any other contemporary writer. He took all his work – novels, stories, journalism, plays and the journal – seriously, and the latter contains very little scrappy or careless writing.