Books: Yorkshire Contrasts

QUORUM (309 pp.)­Phyllis Bentley­Macmillan ($3).

For 23 years, English Novelist Phyllis Bentley has been carpentering a literary chronicle of her native Yorkshire. In twelve books she has tried both to give a close-grained structure of regional manners and to trace the doings of the English merchant class from its ferment under Cromwell to its troubles under Attlee. Like John Galsworthy and Arnold Bennett, her literary masters, Novelist Bentley seldom sparkles or shines. Instead, she hammers out workmanlike novels that, stolid or not, reflect a good deal of social history.

Quorum, her new story of...

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