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Punch and Judy by Arnold Bennett


Arnold Bennett

Punch & Judy by Arnold Bennett.

Edited with an introduction by John Shapcott, then Chairman of The Arnold Bennett Society, now Keele University.

Forward by Margaret Drabble.

Written in 1928 and published now for the first time, Arnold Bennett's Punch and Judy is the first major original work of Bennett's to be published since 1932. Its appearance prompts a reassessment of his contribution to the world of silent cinema.

John Shapcott's 'Introduction' tells the fascinating story of an established major writer, Bennett, and a promising young film director, Alfred Hitchcock, arguing about the future of silent film. Their disagreement results in Punch and Judy becoming a forgotten novel. Reading it today it appears as the potentially great novel that Hitchcock never made.

The story revolves around the ruthless financier Flitfoot who readily betrays colleagues, friends, and family in his lust for power. Like Punch, he cares for neither morality not the law.

Margaret Drabble's 'Forward' calls it 'a tale of financial ruthlessness that is even more topical today than when it was written.' Bennett explores a recognisably modern world of financial corruption and egomaniacal takeover bids leading to inevitable disaster. 

The publication of Punch and Judy is an important literary event. It is also tremendously enjoyable read.

Cover picture: By Sally Richardson.

Published by Churnet Valley Books.

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