11 FEBRUARY 1905, Page 21

Tales of the Five Towns. By Arnold Bennett. (Chatto and

Windus. 6s.)—Whether Mr. Arnold Bennett will ever write anything so wholly excellent as his novel, " A Great Man," may be doubted, but the standard is not very sensibly lowered in his present collection of short stories. The first part of the collection, in which the scene of the stories is always in the five Pottery towns of the title, is the more original, though the other stories have their good points too. But Mr. Bennett has not his equal in the description of the upper strata of the great middle class. He sees into the minds of characters so placed with unerring instinct, and makes both their actions and their motives con- vincing to his readers. All lovers of short stories should at once send for the book, and their attention may be especially directed to "His Worship the Goosedriver," "Mary with the High Hand,"