The book is the second book of The Clayhanger Family series by Arnold Bennett, which paralleled Edwin Clayhanger's story from the point of view of his eventual wife, Hilda. It tells the story of her coming of age, her working experiences as a shorthand clerk and keeper of a lodging house in London and Brighton, her relationship with George Cannon that ends in her disastrous bigamous marriage and pregnancy, and finally her reconciliation with Edwin Clayhanger.
Arnold Bennett (27 May 1867 – 27 March 1931) was an English writer. He is best known as a novelist, but he also worked in other fields such as journalism, propaganda and film. In his early life, Bennett was employed by his father but the working relationship failed. Bennett found himself doing jobs such as rent-collecting which were uncongenial. He also resented the low pay; it is no accident that the theme of parental miserliness is important in his novels. In his spare time he was able to do a little journalism, but his breakthrough as a writer came after he had moved from the Potteries. His most famous works are the The Clayhanger Family, (the complete trilogy consisting of Clayhanger, Hilda Lessways, and These Twain) and The Old Wives' Tale.