The Old Wives' Tale

The Old Wives' Tale is a novel by Arnold Bennett, first published in 1908. It tells the story of two sisters, Constance and Sophia Baines, who live in the small English town of Bursley. The novel follows the sisters from their childhood in the 1860s to their old age in the early 1900s.

The novel begins with the sisters as young girls, living with their parents in a small house in Bursley. Constance is the more practical and sensible of the two, while Sophia is more romantic and dreamy. The sisters are close, but their lives take different paths. Constance marries a local shopkeeper, while Sophia moves to Paris to pursue a career as an artist.

The novel follows the sisters through their lives, as they experience love, loss, and the changing times. Constance and her husband have a daughter, who eventually marries and moves away. Sophia returns to Bursley after her time in Paris, and eventually marries a local doctor.

The novel also follows the lives of the other characters in the town, including the shopkeeper, the doctor, and the local gentry. It paints a vivid picture of life in a small English town in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The novel culminates with the sisters in their old age. They have both experienced love, loss, and the changing times, but they remain close. They are content with their lives, and the novel ends with them looking back on their lives with a sense of satisfaction.

The Old Wives' Tale is a classic novel that captures the lives of two sisters and the changing times in which they lived. It is a story of love, loss, and the importance of family. It is a timeless tale that will remain relevant for generations to come.