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J. B. Priestley (1894–1984)

Author of An Inspector Calls

224+ Works 5,989 Members 96 Reviews 11 Favorited

About the Author

English novelist, playwright, and critic J. B. Priestley was born in Bradford in Yorkshire, the setting for many of his stories, and was educated at Cambridge University. Although he first established a reputation with critical writings such as The English Comic Characters (1925), The English Novel show more (1927), and English Humor (1928), it is for his novels and plays that he is best known. Priestley was, like John Galsworthy and Somerset Maugham, a novelist only partially committed to his playwriting. Yet he became the dominant literary figure in the London West End during the 1930s, as he attempted to make realistically rendered domestic conversation the vehicle for a mature study of personality and emotion. Philosophical theories about time, Socialist dogmatism (often erupting into sermons), and a taste for dramatic expressionism may be said to have finally deflected him from his goal. Priestley's experimental bent nevertheless yielded, among his more than 25 plays, a number of striking theatrical situations---the soliloquies of Ever since Paradise, the reviewed life in Johnson over Jordan (1939), the replay of an ill-fated conversational turn in Dangerous Corner (his most successful play, 1934), and the supernatural visitation in An Inspector Calls (his acknowledged masterpiece, 1946). (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Series

Works by J. B. Priestley

An Inspector Calls (1946) 963 copies
The Good Companions (1929) 423 copies
English Journey (1934) 364 copies
Angel Pavement (1930) 284 copies
Literature and Western Man (1960) 245 copies
Lost Empires (1965) 189 copies
The Prince of Pleasure and His Regency, 1811-20 (1969) — Author — 182 copies
Bright Day (1946) 152 copies
Benighted (1927) 142 copies
Man and Time (1964) 133 copies
Delight (1949) 125 copies
The Edwardians (1970) 101 copies
Salt is Leaving (1966) 73 copies
The Shapes of Sleep (1962) 72 copies
Saturn Over the Water (1961) 70 copies
Victoria's Heyday (1972) 69 copies
Festival at Farbridge (1939) 61 copies
The Doomsday Men (1938) 59 copies
The Magicians (1954) 55 copies
Black-Out in Gretley (1942) 54 copies
The English (1671) 51 copies
Daylight on Saturday (1943) 48 copies
Dangerous Corner (1932) 47 copies
The Image Men (1968) 47 copies
When We are Married (1938) 46 copies
Three Men in New Suits (1945) 44 copies
Margin Released (1962) 43 copies
Time and the Conways (1937) 42 copies
Journey Down a Rainbow (1950) 40 copies
Out of Town (1968) 39 copies
Faraway (1900) 37 copies
The Thirty-First of June (1961) 34 copies
Three Time-Plays (1943) 33 copies
It's an Old Country (1967) 33 copies
Sir Michael and Sir George (1954) 32 copies
English Humour (1976) 29 copies
Let the People Sing (1939) 29 copies
Wonder Hero (1933) 27 copies
London End (1968) 27 copies
The Priestley Companion (1951) 26 copies
Postscripts (1940) 24 copies
Jenny Villiers (1947) 24 copies
Low Notes on a High Level (1954) 24 copies
Particular Pleasures (1975) 23 copies
Laburnum Grove (1933) 22 copies
Found, Lost, Found (1976) 21 copies
Essays of Five Decades (1968) 20 copies
Snoggle (1776) 17 copies
Adam in Moonshine (1927) 15 copies
Farthing Hall (1995) 15 copies
I Have Been Here Before (1937) 15 copies
THE BEAUTY OF BRITAIN (1937) 15 copies
Rain Upon Godshill (1939) 15 copies
Great British Short Stories (1974) — Introduction — 13 copies
Our Nation's Heritage (1939) 12 copies
Eden End (1934) 12 copies
Out of the People (1941) 12 copies
Britain Under Fire (1941) 12 copies
Thomas Love Peacock (1966) 12 copies
Four English Novels (1960) — Editor — 12 copies
George Meredith (2010) 11 copies
The English Novel (1977) 11 copies
The Linden Tree (1947) 11 copies
Mystery at Greenfingers (1937) 10 copies
Theatre Outlook (1957) 10 copies
Lost Empires [1986 TV mini series] (1986) — Original story — 10 copies
British Women Go To War (1943) 9 copies
Outcries and Asides (1974) 9 copies
Visit to New Zealand (1974) 8 copies
The Balconinny (1929) 7 copies
Johnson over Jordan (2001) 7 copies
The Other Place (1953) 6 copies
Self-Selected Essays (1950) 6 copies
The Old Dark House [1963 film] (1963) — Author — 5 copies
Open House (1927) 5 copies
Over the Long High Wall (1972) 5 copies
Cornelius (2012) 5 copies
They Came to a City (1944) 5 copies
Four Plays (1944) 5 copies
Bees on the Boat Deck (1936) 4 copies
I'll Tell You Everything (1933) 4 copies
William Hazlitt (1960) 4 copies
My Six Favorite Plays (1979) 4 copies
Summer Day's Dream (2013) 4 copies
I for One (1923) 3 copies
Britain Speaks (1940) 3 copies
Desert Highway (1944) 3 copies
The Long Mirror 3 copies
Ever Since Paradise (1946) 3 copies
Music at Night 3 copies
Teatro completo (1963) 3 copies
Talking (1926) 3 copies
The High Toby (1948) 3 copies
Six plays (1979) 3 copies
The Art of the Dramatist (1973) 3 copies
Margaret McMillan: A Memoir (1948) — Preface — 3 copies
Happy Dream (1976) 3 copies
The Rose and Crown (1947) 3 copies
Four-in-Hand 3 copies
Papers From Lilliput (2009) 2 copies
Faraway II 2 copies
W starym kraju 2 copies
Faraway I 2 copies
Britain at War 2 copies
The Happy Dream 2 copies
The Roundabout (2016) 2 copies
Four English Biographies — Editor — 2 copies
All England Listened (1967) 2 copies
Plays (2004) 2 copies
Theatre Omnibus (1941) 1 copy
Teatro 1 copy
festival 1 copy
Two Time-Plays (1938) 1 copy
Different inside (1990) 1 copy
Underground 1 copy
People at Sea (1937) 1 copy
Apes and Angels (1930) 1 copy
The Moments 1 copy
Dickens 1 copy
Priestley's War Years (2011) 1 copy
[Obras] 1 copy
temps i els Conway/El (2023) 1 copy

Associated Works

Pride and Prejudice (1813) — Contributor, some editions — 80,455 copies
David Copperfield (1850) — Introduction, some editions — 20,642 copies
The Time Machine (1895) — Introduction, some editions — 17,644 copies
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1759) — Introduction, some editions — 7,655 copies
Hangover Square (1941) — Introduction, some editions — 1,032 copies
The Slaves of Solitude (1947) — Introduction, some editions — 707 copies
Black Water: The Book of Fantastic Literature (1983) — Contributor — 500 copies
Nightmare Abbey [and] Crotchet Castle (1818) — Introduction; Introduction — 381 copies
A Book of English Essays (1942) — Contributor — 242 copies
Hauntings: Tales of the Supernatural (1968) — Contributor — 230 copies
Upstairs Downstairs (1972) — Foreword, some editions — 169 copies
The Mammoth Book of Modern Ghost Stories (2007) — Contributor — 134 copies
Last Holiday [2006 film] (2006) — Original book — 133 copies
Read With Me (1965) — Contributor — 129 copies
Sixteen Famous British Plays (1942) — Contributor — 113 copies
Spirits of the Season: Christmas Hauntings (2018) — Contributor — 77 copies
The Treasury of Science Fiction Classics (1954) — Contributor — 75 copies
The Mammoth Book of Twentieth-Century Ghost Stories (1998) — Contributor — 73 copies
Great Ghost Stories (1936) — Contributor — 67 copies
Time Travelers (Fiction in the Fourth Dimension) (1997) — Contributor — 64 copies
Timescapes (1997) — Contributor — 57 copies
Best Mystery and Suspense Plays of the Modern Theatre (1971) — Contributor — 54 copies
The Mammoth Book of Thrillers, Ghosts and Mysteries (1936) — Contributor — 47 copies
Ghosts for Christmas (1988) — Contributor — 45 copies
Realms of Darkness (1985) — Contributor — 45 copies
The Lucifer Society (1971) — Contributor — 42 copies
The Sixth Fontana Book of Great Ghost Stories (1970) — Contributor — 42 copies
My Financial Career and Other Follies (1966) — Editor — 42 copies
Classics of the Supernatural (1995) — Contributor — 40 copies
The Best of British SF 1 (1977) — Contributor — 38 copies
14 great plays (1977) — Contributor — 31 copies
The Valancourt Book of Horror Stories, Volume Three (2018) — Contributor — 29 copies
The Night Wire: and Other Tales of Weird Media (2022) — Contributor — 27 copies
The Great Book of Humour (1935) — Contributor — 22 copies
An Inspector Calls [1954 film] (1954) — Original author — 19 copies
Wonderful London (1935) — Contributor — 19 copies
The Other Side of the Clock (1968) — Contributor — 18 copies
Dr. Caligari's Black Book (1968) — Contributor — 16 copies
The Bodley Head Leacock (1957) — Introduction — 16 copies
Paha vieras (1996) 15 copies
In the Dead of Night (1961) — Contributor — 11 copies
The Best of Leacock (1957) — Editor — 10 copies
An Inspector Calls — Writer — 10 copies
Great British Short Stories Volume 1 (1974) — Introduction — 10 copies
England forteller : britiske og irske noveller (1970) — Contributor — 9 copies
Philharmonic (1953) — Introduction — 9 copies
British and American Essays, 1905-1956 (1959) — Contributor — 7 copies
Great British Short Stories Volume 2 (1974) — Introduction — 7 copies
They Came To a City [1944 film] — Original book — 7 copies
My Best Thriller (1947) — Contributor — 5 copies
Plays of the Sixties, Volume 2 (1967) — Contributor — 3 copies
The Masque of the Red Death and Other Tales of Horror (1964) — Contributor — 2 copies
Essays of the year (1929-1930) (1930) — Contributor — 1 copy

Tagged

1001 (328) 1001 books (383) 18th century (470) 19th century (2,220) Austen (771) British (1,385) British literature (1,493) classic (4,719) classic fiction (404) classic literature (679) classics (4,821) Dickens (329) ebook (673) England (1,718) English (782) English literature (1,665) family (341) favorite (339) favorites (483) fiction (11,833) historical (369) historical fiction (522) humor (387) Jane Austen (1,075) Kindle (626) literature (2,732) love (504) marriage (381) novel (2,329) own (608) read (1,312) Regency (542) Roman (280) romance (2,589) science fiction (2,350) sisters (272) time travel (683) to-read (3,840) unread (480) Victorian (501)

Common Knowledge

Members

Reviews

A rather long but entertaining novel about a travelling theatre troupe. Not memorable for me, but enjoyable episodes and worth the read.
 
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sfj2 | 5 other reviews | Apr 3, 2024 |
This carefully crafted book is a master class in how to write a convincing argument that will retain a middle class reader's interest by never descending to polemic. Priestly lays before everyone, especially those of his readers who really would prefer not to know, that a terrible social injustice had been done to those people who made and extracted the wealth that made Britain an economic titan.
The further Priestly ventures on his journey, the greater the deprivation uncovered - so that by the time he reaches Tyneside and the Durham collieries we are truly aware of the calamitous state of workers shut out of works that have become defunct as a result of the Great Depression. (The journey took place in 1933).
Perhaps it ought to be read alongside George Orwell's "The Road to Wigan Pier" and "Down and Out in Paris and London", both of which books tackle the subject as a political failure. Priestly demands of his readers that they be woken up to a human tragedy in their own land, amongst their own people, and take action that would relieve it. Unfortunately, this didn't happen, the situation only being altered by the country rearming and preparing for war.
My copy of this book is a Jubilee Edition (1984), and contains 80 black and white photographs which speak to the failure of will and decency, where working families lived in mean hovels in towns unfit to be called such.
I thought I wouldn't like this book, but I remembered the human warmth that is the foundation of Priestley's "Angel Pavement", and found this endearing aspect of his writing present here.
… (more)
 
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ivanfranko | 5 other reviews | Aug 9, 2023 |
This was good and really funny!
 
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Drake.Sully | Apr 18, 2023 |

Lists

Awards

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Associated Authors

Joseph Conrad Contributor
Thomas Hardy Contributor
Jane Austen Contributor
Charles Dickens Contributor
P. G. Hennell Photographer
Smart Pass Post-production
David Thorpe cast member
Gil Maine Commentary author
Will Hawksworth cast member
Peter Lindford cast member
Pat Gallimore cast member
Sara Bowes cast member
Jools Viner Producer
Christopher Kelham cast member
Ben Crowe cast member
Joan Walker cast member
Phil Viner Director & cover artist
Terrence Hardiman cast member
Jonathan Lomas Commentary author
Mike Reeves Commentary author
Jen Sheckels Cover & insert designer
Orrin Grey Introduction
Tom Priestley Introduction
George Woodman Cover artist
Brian Cook Cover artist

Statistics

Works
224
Also by
62
Members
5,989
Popularity
#4,114
Rating
4.2
Reviews
96
ISBNs
381
Languages
12
Favorited
11

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