MANHOLD by Phyllis Bentley


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I have been disappointed in Phyllis Bentley's lack of development. In fact, it seemed to me that she had retrogressed in successive novels since her more than promising Inheritance. Now in Manhold, she has proved again that she has greater competence than the intervening books indicated. She has turned back to the 18th century for a story of the West Riding, of the wool industry in the days of journeyman weavers, and of an ambitious and ruthless man, to whom the house he had built, Manhold, was a symbol of his aspirations. The unravelling of the plot has a sense of familiarity in scenes and characters that have been done, in different combinations, before:- the stern father, the clinging mother, the gentle and stupid son, the wanton maiden with ambitions of her own, the wife that suggests Copperfield's Dora, and a daughter to Richard and Betty who really comes to life. But it is a readable enough story, better integrated, better paced than most of her recent work.

Pub Date: April 15th, 1942
Publisher: Macmillan