Arnold Bennett: THE ROLL-CALL
This story concerns the young life of Clayhanger's stepson, George. George Edwin Cannon - he soon drops the surname Clayhanger, given to him upon his mother's marriage - is an architect, and represents what his stepfather Edwin Clayhanger wished to become. The characters of Edwin and Hilda are not developed further in this book: Edwin - now elevated to Alderman - appears only briefly. The central character displays an unattractive arrogance because of the wealth behind him. In an early chapter, he thinks about adding electric light to his London dwelling, and decides that he - or rather, his stepfather - can well afford it. Bennett seems to have felt that the children of the successful bourgeoisie, unless their excesses are suppressed as Edwin's were, will become spoilt.
Arnold Bennett (1867-1931) was an English journalist, novelist, and writer. After working as a rent collector and solicitor's clerk, Bennett won a writing contest which convinced him to become a journalist. He later turned to the writing of novels, including his most famous Clayhanger and Anna of the five towns.