In support of this, she cites the writer Arnold Bennett who agrees that, "The foundation of good fiction is character-creating and nothing else." and then goes on to proclaim that there are "no young novelists of first rate importance at the present moment ..." [This paper was delivered to the Heretics at Cambridge University on May 18, 1924]
The Edwardians excelled at describing the "fabric of things". Woolf cites a book written by Bennett called Hilda Lessways and how Bennett opens the books with an intricate description of the home in which she resides, the neighborhood, who resided where, the architecture, the town, the weather. And so, Woolf complains, we cannot hear Hilda's voice "only Mr. Bennett's voice telling us facts about rents and freeholds and copyholds and fines". These restrictions, these limitations, have had a certain effect on modern writers.