Priestley’s England

J. B. Priestley and English culture
Author(s): 
Baxendale, John
ISBN: 
9780719072871
Date published: 
April 2014
Paperback
Price: 
£14.99

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 twentieth-century Britain, and one of its sharpest critics. The book explores the cultural, literary and political history of twentieth-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 twentieth-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.