Priestley's England: J. B. Priestley and English Culture
Priestley's England is the first full-length academic study of J B Priestley—novelist, playwright, screen-writer, journalist and broadcaster, political activist, public intellectual and popular entertainer, one of the makers of 20th-century Britain, and one of its sharpest critics. The book explores the cultural, literary and political history of 20th-century Britain through the themes which preoccupied Priestley throughout his life: competing versions of Englishness; tradition, modernity and the decline of industrial England; 'Americanisation', mass culture and 'Admass'; cultural values and 'broadbrow' culture; consumerism and the decay of the public sphere; the loss of spirituality and community in 'the nervous excitement, the frenzy, the underlying despair of our century'. It argues that Priestley has been unjustly neglected for too long: we have a great deal to learn both from this extraordinary, multi-faceted man, and from the English radical tradition he represented. This book will appeal to all those interested in the culture and politics of 20th-century Britain, in the continuing debates over 'Englishness' to which Priestley made such a key contribution, and in the life and work of one of the most remarkable and popular writers of the past century.
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1941 Committee Admass American Angel Pavement Angus Calder argued artists audience Blackpool Bradford Bright Day Britain British broadcast Bruddersford Cambridge chapter cinema City Companions contemporary countryside creative critical critique Deep England democracy democratic documentary Edwardian England English Journey essays F. R. Leavis factory fiction film George Orwell Gracie Fields H. V. Morton Heinemann highbrow Hollywood Ibid industrial J. B. Priestley John kind Labour landscape later Leavis Listener literary literature live London Manchester Margin mass middle-class middlebrow Midnight modernity music-hall narrative national character newspaper novel novelist ordinary Originally published Orwell Orwell's Oxford University Press Penguin play political popular culture Postscripts postwar Priestley's published New Statesman radical radio Rain readers rural Sing social society spirit Stanley Baldwin suburban theme things town tradition turn urban Victorian Virginia Woolf wartime Wonder Hero working-class writing wrote Yorkshire young