Spanning nearly half a century, The Old Wives Tale is epic in scale and scope, tracing as it does the effects of time on two sisters and their surroundings. The novel is a domestic story told with tenderness, and is concerned not with heroic statesmen or soldiers, but with small details of daily life in a way which demonstrates Bennett’s great debt to french realist writers. The action is concentrated mainly within the provincial town of Bursley, a startling contrast to Paris where Sophia and Gerald elope.
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