Arnold Bennett was a 19th century writer. His most notable short story piece is The Idiot, the same name as Fyodor Dostoevsky’s longer piece. I do not know if they influenced each other, but the tale is available online at His greatest works were the highly detailed novels of the “Five Towns”—the Potteries, in his native Staffordshire (Saturn in the fourth house) somewhat in the vein of George Eliot’s Middlemarch, where he so aptly painted the life of a way of life that has long vanished from the industrial scene that it is almost a historical case study.  One of his books, Anna of the Five Towns,  was reproduced by BBC Radio 4 here.

Bennett learnt his craft the old-fashioned way, from the intensive study of other writers he enjoyed (Mars inconjunct Moon).  In Bennett’s case they were the French realistic novelists, like Gustave Flaubert and Honore de Balzac, both two writers who emphasized detailed description of people, scenes, and events so much so that not only the characters but the whole milieu in which they find themselves comes to life from the page.

The only aspect in declination Bennett has is Venus-Jupiter, which is found in its rulership, highlighting the strong love of his hometown’s major craft that once was the finest in the world — English dishware. This pride is also revealed by Uranus in Cancer in its essential house the eleventh, perhaps telling us he felt he was its literary ambassador: enjoy your tea in Meakin and read about the people who made it possible.

He was less successful in his plays, although Milestones (1912), written with Edward Knoblock, and The Great Adventure (1913), adapted from his novel of five years earlier, Buried Alive (1908), both had long runs and have been revived.

Bennett is a Bundle that just has a Saturn handle making it into a bundle-bucket. The handle is opposite his Midheaven which though in the same sector, is not really near his Mercury in Gemini. His Part of Fortune and Sun finish the grouping, showing his insistence of making a successful go at writing. The opposing Saturn seems to anchor the group in the Fourth House of Scorpio but also casting a rather sardonic eye above.

The Ruler of Scorpio is right next to his Ascendant in Leo giving him a fierce pride in his work and yet with so many planets in Common {Mutable} Signs it tells us he was more agreeable than he would let on, pulling everything that came near him like a crab to its stomach and letting out just choice morsels.

Here’s a good review of The Idiot. The story itself runs about 3 pages.

arnold bennett 1867.pdf


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