(1867-1931) was born in Hanley, Staffordshire. After a secondary school education, he wroked first for his father, a self-taught solicitor, and then moved to London as a shorthand clerk with a firm of solicitors. He began to write to make extra money and his first novel,
A Man From the North
, appeared in 1898. In 1900 he finished
The Grand Babylon Hotel
, published in 1902, and began
Anna of the Five Towns
(1902), in which he first started to use the Potteries of his boyhood as a setting for his novels.
The Old Wives' Tale
(1908) was written in France and it was followed by the Clayhanger trilogy:
(1916). His works also include several plays, two volumes of short stories and several other novels.