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Late in 2013 I read two of J.B. Priestley's early novels, LOST EMPIRES and THE GOOD COMPANIONS, for the first time and fell in love with Priestley's gift for character and, especially, his ability to create drama without having to resort to villains; a highly unusual, not cloying sweetness of spirit pervades both books. The good have their bad moments and the bad have their good ones, but by and large, human beings are presented in such a way as to suggest that their creation wasn't a divine ...more
About the closest Priestley ever got to a conventional autobiography, his "chapters of autobiography" "Midnight on the desert" ect. are more books of thoughts than anything, but here he takes his whole working life as his subject. The book is divided into three sections pre first world war, during the war and his career after the war right up to 1960. This is an autobiography but it is about his work and not his private life with which he deals, those expecting romance and scandals could be disa ...more
I have always been a fan of Priestley's work, and as a young man I recall first reading this book when it was serialised in the Sunday Times. Later I bought the book, and when I met JB in 1964 he signed my copy --which makes it even more precious. I loved the story of his beginnings and his World War I experiences, and most of all I loved the way he stressed the point that if one wishes to succeed in writing, one must write, write, write! "I Had the Time" was one of the chapters...and he ...more
A fascinating book and what an amazing life Priestly had. His survival through WW1 and his modesty. I have seen some of his plays and now want to read his novels. A true Northerner and his long walks in his youth impressed me as did his social consciousness. I also found it amusing his veiled criticism of the BBC and how it was dodgy even in the 1940s and 50s. Impressive that he also predicted pay to view TV. Well worth a read.
John Boynton Priestley, the son of a schoolmaster, was born in Bradford in September 1894, and after schooling he worked for a time in the local wool trade. Following the outbreak of the Great War in 1914, Priestley joined the British Army, and was sent to France --in 1915 taking part in the Battle of Loos. After being wounded in 1917 Priestley returned to England for six months; then, after going ...moreMore about J.B. Priestley...