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is a novel by English writer Arnold Bennett, first published in 1911. Set in the late 19th century, the novel follows the life of a young woman named Hilda Lessways as she navigates the challenges of growing up and finding her place in the world.
Hilda is a headstrong and ambitious young woman who dreams of escaping the provincial town of Turnhill where she grew up and making a name for herself in the wider world. She is initially employed as a cook in a local boarding house, but her ambition and determination soon lead her to seek out more exciting opportunities.
The novel is notable for its vivid depiction of life in late Victorian England, and for its sympathetic portrayal of a strong-willed and independent woman. Hilda is a complex and multifaceted character who defies the traditional gender roles of her time, and who is determined to forge her own path in life. Her struggles and triumphs offer a compelling portrait of a woman coming of age in a rapidly changing world.
One of the central themes of the novel is the tension between tradition and modernity. Hilda is torn between her desire to escape the narrow confines of her hometown and her attachment to the familiar customs and values of her upbringing. As she becomes more immersed in the cosmopolitan world of London, she must grapple with the disorienting effects of urbanization and the loss of traditional social structures.
Another important theme in the novel is the role of women in society. Hilda is a fiercely independent woman who resists the expectations placed on her by her family and society, and who is determined to make her own way in the world. However, she also struggles with the limitations placed on women in Victorian England, and with the double standards that allow men to indulge in behavior that would be condemned in a woman.
The novel is also notable for its detailed and vivid descriptions of life in turn-of-the-century England. Bennett’s portrayal of the town of Turnhill is rich in detail, capturing the sights, sounds, and smells of daily life in a small industrial town. His descriptions of London are equally vivid, painting a picture of a bustling and chaotic metropolis on the brink of a new era.
Overall, “Hilda Lessways” is a rich and engaging novel that offers a compelling portrait of a young woman coming of age in Victorian England. Through its vivid depictions of life in a rapidly changing world, the novel explores timeless themes of ambition, tradition, and the struggle for self-determination. It remains a classic of English literature and a testament to the enduring power of the novel as a form of social commentary.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]