Why did Arnold Bennett write under the nom-de-plume of “Gwendolyn”?

Why did Arnold Bennett write under the nom-de-plume of "Gwendolyn"?Because he first started writing on the staff of a women’s periodical. He spent four years writing a gossip column under the odd penname of “Gwendolyn.” He regarded the time thus spent as the most valuable part of his life. He later became the assistant editor and then editor of a weekly magazine called Woman. His later commet was: “I learnt nothing of letters in that office, but I learnt a good deal about the secret nature of women.”

Anrnold Bennett’s best writing was invariably about ordinary working people and their lives. When he attempted to portray the life of high society, his approach was rather clumsy and artificial.

He was born May 27, 1876, the son of a solicitor. He went to London in 1888, working first as a clerk and then as a journalist. His first novel a Man from the North was Published in 1898. One of his most popular books was entitled The Card.

“Card” is a slang name for a person who loves to attract much attention. Edward Henry Machin, better known as Denry, is just such a person, albeit a very likeable one. “He is identified.” says one of his friends at the close of the book “with the great cause of cheering us all up.”

This, Denry does with rare flair. His merry adventures with the local aristocracy, football team and a host of Councillors and city elders who are suspicious of his rapid money making ways, have a freshness and vigour which Arnold Bennett rarely touched again.

Enoch Arnold Bennett, which was his full name, wrote many stories about the “Five Towns’ that today make up Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire, England. The background of The Card is that district.

Bennett later married a French woman and lived for eight years at the town of Fontainebleau, 31 miles (50km) south of Paris, an experience which stood him in good stead when he wrote his best book The Old Wives Tale. He died March 27, 1931, still at the height of his powers.

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