UNLIMITED Audiobooks and eBooks

Over 30,000 books & works on all major devices

Get ALL YOU CAN for FREE for 30 days!

Hilda Lessways

Arnold Bennett

Book Overview: 

This book is the second in Bennett’s four books about life in the Five Towns (the real life Potteries in Staffordshire). It tells the story of Hilda before her marriage to Edwin Clayhanger (from the first book). Bennett explores Hilda's ambition to make a career for herself, her coming of age and her working experiences as a shorthand clerk and keeper of a lodging house in London and Brighton. He also shows her intensifying relationship with the enigmatic George Cannon that ends in her disastrous bigamous marriage and pregnancy, and finally her reconciliation with Edwin Clayhanger

How does All You Can Books work?

All You Can Books gives you UNLIMITED access to over 40,000 Audiobooks, eBooks, and Foreign Language courses. Download as many audiobooks, ebooks, language audio courses, and language e-workbooks as you want during the FREE trial and it's all yours to keep even if you cancel during the FREE trial. The service works on any major device including computers, smartphones, music players, e-readers, and tablets. You can try the service for FREE for 30 days then it's just $19.99 per month after that. So for the price everyone else charges for just 1 book, we offer you UNLIMITED audio books, e-books and language courses to download and enjoy as you please. No restrictions.

Book Excerpt: 
. . .nt to young limbs; and now she was rheumatic.

"Nobody but Mr. Cannon can do anything," Janet murmured.

"I'm sure he hasn't the slightest idea--not the slightest!" said Hilda half defensively. But she was saying to herself: "This man made me write a lie, and now I hear that his sister is starving--in the same town!" And she thought of his glossy opulence. "I'm quite sure of that!" she repeated to Janet.

"Oh! So am I!" Janet eagerly concurred. "That's why I came.... Somebody had to give him a hint.... I never dreamt of finding you, dear!"

"It is strange, isn't it?" said Hilda, the wondrous romance of things seizing her. Seen afresh, through the eyes of this charming, sympathetic acquaintance, was not Mr. Cannon's originality in engaging her positively astounding?

"I suppose you couldn't give him a hint?"

"Yes, I'll tell him," said Hilda. "Of course!" In spite of herself she was assuming a certain proprietorship in Mr. . . . Read More

Community Reviews

Bennett does equally well with serious topics as with humor. His portrayal of the inner struggles of the female mind with regard to her place in society, in familial roles, and in career are compelling. Hilda is an intriguing and somewhat unpredictable person whom I root for nonetheless.

I read the first volume some years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. You can certainly read "Hilda Lessways" without having read (or remembered) the first book. This story is about a young woman coming of age - what makes it interesting is the choices that she takes to decide her own life. She is a...more

I hate doing the silly scoring thing for books I really enjoy, because I always go too high - anyway, I loved Clayhanger and this was equally brilliant, not least in the overlaps between the two. One to put on your 'Top Literary Heroines' list.

A fine achievement. It is both a sequel to and a book that runs parallel with Clayhanger. If you've read the first, you know what is going to happen which is quite a new idea in construction (to me). Despite this, it constantly surprises and moves you. Its not perfect, but its very good. The prob...more

Being married to a bigamist
The parallelquel (if such a word exists) to Edwin Clayhanger. The story of Hilda. Now, we know of the previous novel that she obviously fell in love with Edwin but leaves and just informs Janet that she married one George Cannon. Would he please inform Edwin. The bitch....more

This dovetails cleverly with Clayhanger but Arnold Bennett has to be quite ingenious on occasion to reconcile Hilda's two lives (and almost two personalities). An intriguing read for those who enjoy late 19th century/early 20th century realism.

Very good read. Tasty omelette too.

Well-written and humorous. Bit of a cliff-hanger; it is helpfully pointed out that the story is continued in These Twain.

Hilda is an interesting female character with many contradictions. While she is strong-minded and will perform a strong impulse as it comes to her even as it is controversial, she minds it when there is gossip about her and Cannon. She is unable to let go of what she perceives as the duty she owe...more

I liked this one better than the first book of the trilogy, Clayhanger. Timewise it runs concurrently with Clayhanger which follows Edwin Clayhanger and this follows Hilda Lessways. The third book of the trilogy is These Twain.

View More Reviews