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The connection between Stoke-on-Trent and Saint Antonin Noble-Val

When people think about authors from Stoke-on-Trent, the first name that springs to minds is Arnold Bennett and his novels set during Victorian times in the world of the ceramics industry. The Old Wives' Tale, Anna of the Five Towns, Clayhanger are now classics.

Arnold Bennett also enjoyed painting and I was very surprised to discover this painting from Saint-Antonin Noble-Val, a place near my home town in the South West of France.

The reason why he was inspired by St Antonin must be coming from his French wife, Marguerite Soulié. They met as she was working as his secretary in 1907 and they married that year and separated thirteen years later. Many years later, in 1960 Marguerite passed away and was buried in the protestant cemetery in St Antonin. His grave can easily be spotted as it is well maintained.

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