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Phyllis Bentley entry: Overview screen.
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Overview
Writing
Life
Writing and Life
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Phyllis Bentley was a prolific and successful novelist, literary critic, short-story writer, children's writer, and journalist, who was productive over a broad span of the twentieth century. Almost all her twenty-eight novels and numerous short stories are set in her native West Riding of Yorkshire and many are historical as well as regional, focussing on the textile trade and the effects of industrialization in that region. A realist with a strong sense of historical process, she sought to "write novels which should present life exactly at [sic] it really was, and by so doing help to better the world." Bibliographic Citation link. She was deeply influenced by the Brontës, and wrote several literary studies of the history of Haworth and the Brontë family, as well as of the regional novel and of narrative form.
Milestones
19 November 1894 PB was born at Victoria House, Stanley Road, in Halifax, Yorkshire. Bibliographic Citation link.
1901 At the age of six, PB wrote her first poem, "The Volcano", which she illustrated and gave to her father as a birthday present. Bibliographic Citation link.
1929 In memory of her late father, PB published Carr, a book which she takes great pains to present as a scholarly biography, though it is in fact the story of a fictional character written by another fully-realised fictional character. Bibliographic Citation link.
Early 1932 PB published Inheritance, her most critically and commercially successful novel and the first in a series of four about the fortunes, generation after generation, of three Yorkshire families. Bibliographic Citation link.
Earlier 1977 PB and John Ogden together published Haworth of the Brontës; this was to be her final publication before her death. Bibliographic Citation link.
27 June 1977 PB died at the Ing Royde Home in Broomfield Avenue, Halifax, Yorkshire, in the town where she had spent most of her life. Bibliographic Citation link.
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