The Midlands Imagination: Arnold Bennett, George Eliot, William Hale White and D. H. Lawrence

  • Bridget Pugh


When one considers the regional novel it is usual to take into account how novelists have used local material in their work. This is the approach taken by Phyllis Bentley in her booklet The English Regional Novel where she looks particularly at manifestations of regionalism in the elements of character, plot, setting, narrative and theme in the works of four major writers: Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy and Arnold Bennett. She defines a regional novel as ‘a novel which concentrating on a particular part, a particular region of a nation depicts the life of that region in such a way that the reader is conscious of the characteristics which are unique to that region and differentiate it from others in the common motherland’. 1One cannot fault this definition; and there is much to be said for the manner in which Bentley investigates the regional influence in well-defined areas of her chosen novels. But, as I intend to show, this seems to me a limited approach because its emphasis is on the effect of the region on the literature and does not see it as intrinsic to the writing.


Modern World Sunday School English Regional Agricultural County Local Story 
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© Bridget Pugh 1989

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  • Bridget Pugh

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