J.B. Priestley: English Journey



In fact I think he would be a little upset if he idn tHe paints a picture of three Englands the first of long historic tradition with everyone in their place from the castle and cathedral Teaspoon and an Open Mind down to the cottage and the gate The second is the industrial mess we made of so much of England for profit in the nineteenth century and have left the problem of what too with the unwanted workers the wastelands and the rusting factories The third is the modern world that he credits to American influence and popular cultureEighty years on it is all still there and at a time of A Celtic Miscellany depression itoesn t seem that much has changed Wealth rather than breeding etermines who plays the suire and who the cottager but the ancient regime remains Industry has largely gone but its wastelands are easy to find Collieries have been converted into supermarkets at a vast rate and chemical plants have become football stadia The main residue though is the worker Often third generation unemployed they have become a soft cottoned jogging suited sub class For ecades we as a country made sure they remained so uneducated that they would accept the monotonous rottenness often Foxs Feud (Farthing Wood, dangerous too of jobs in mills foundries and pits Now we have apparently created a group who are immune and inured against learning as a way out The third England has becomeominant Trafford Gateshead Blue Water Meadowhall are the temples Talent shows on commercial television mimicked by talent shows on our national broadcaster The Culture Code dominate interest in culture So much for the wise observer He saw and was able to tell what was important from what isn t and this is what separates him from most other beat of the nation travelogues He knows his stuff What of theifficult to like Priestley Well get him on Geordies or Liverpool Irish and I think you ll find views not only intolerant but on the wrong side of offensiveOh and for you English examiners who continue to set uestions about how An Inspector Calls reveals Priestley s socialism please read what the man himself had to say on the subject J B Priestley can be both whimsical and nostalgic in this travelogue of a trip around England He can also be thoughtful and contemplative particularly about the less attractive aspects of the country the factories ole ueues and the plight of the working classes His viewpoint is broadly socialist but he strongly supports individualism not organised paternalismThis is an enjoyable and informative book and Priestley is a persuasive writer If I have one uibble it is that I feel he id not have to include so many Stolen Magic (Stardust, descriptions of the meals he ate but it is a minor uibble From BBC Radio 4 ExtraRetracing JB Priestley s footsteps of 1933 poet Lemn Sissay heads south to begin his odyssey around modern Englandhttpswwwbbccoukprogrammesb009 Pretty marvelous and I m surprised it has gone out of print really especially in another age of austerity and ofepletion of Northern cities Firstly there s its inescapable value as a piecemeal social The Billionaire Daddy document capturing a time when Coventry was pretty shop girls were starting to look like film stars and sausages were for breakfast How little changes too even in the thirties pubs are generally bogus Merrie England affairs culture is mass and trashy he means cinema entertainment is transactional streetscapes are ugly and pretty towns are infested with Ye Olde Tea Shoppes It s actually pretty progressive for all this There s no shortage of compassion for the victims of poverty and unemployment and a realespair about the fate of children He s no Orwell but plenty of what Priestley says about the emasculation of unemployment and low wages the good people running relief schemes and the misery of bad housing and grime all feel perfectly contemporary He s also refreshingly Pistols for Two damning about intellectuals who cherish liberties in. H and home In capturing andescribing an English landscape and people hitherto unseen in literature of its kind he influenced the thinking and attitudes of an entire generation and helped formulate a public consensus for change that led to the formation of the welfare state Prophetic profound humorous and as relevant today as it was 75 years ago English Journey expresses Priestley’s eep love of his native country and teaches us much about the human condition and the na.

The UK while unconcerned for them in the Stalin run USSR But then this being eighty years old you ll trip up over a howler about the slovenliness of the Irish poor in Liverpool So not all ageless The charm of it above all is its intentional and unintentional humour He s frank and refreshingly unapologetic about his laziness as a writer admitting at intervals that he really ought to well on X economic issue or Y sphere of a city s life but lunch is on its way Lunch and the periodic bad night s sleep in bad hotels is an amusing fixation throughout He also recognises his limitations as a writer I love the section where setting forth his telegraphic notes from some home visits he admits that this is the closest he ll get to the celebrated Modernist style In spite of this there are moments of very memorable writing This superb line talking of a fish market in Hull I only saw a few halibut but these were of gigantic size lying there like murdered Roman emperors Humourous too from a 21st century perspective at how even in comfortable moments it s boiled beef overheated hotels and pipe smoking It s hard not to laugh at a kipper He signs off Loss (Gus Dury, declaring himself a Little Englander for he cares for the plight of the people suffering a Depression wants of the green and pleasant and less of theark Satanic Imagine that s what Little Englander could once mean It was Victor Gollancz who commissioned two pieces of English travel writing from two gifted but very The Last Rite (Danilov Quintet, different writers One was The Road to Wigan Pier by George Orwell the other was English Journey English Journey is subtitled English journey being a rambling but truthful account of what one man saw and heard and felt and thoughturing a journey through England Alacrity (Illumine, during the autumn of the year 1933 by JB Priestley which sums it up very succinctlyIn 1934 JB Priestley published this account of a journey through England from Southampton to the Black Country to the North East and Newcastle to Norwich and then back to his home in Highgate London His account is very personal and idiosyncratic and in it he muses on how towns and regions have changed their history amusing pen pictures of those he encounters and all of this is enhanced by a large side order of realism and hard nosed opinion The book was a best seller when it was published and apparently had an influence on public attitudes to poverty and welfare and the eventual formation of the welfare stateThe book also makes a fascinating companion piece to In Search Of England by HV Morton which was published a few years earlier and was another enormously successful English travelogue however one that provides a far romantic version of England an England untroubled by poverty and theepression Like HV Morton s book English Journey has never been out of print English Journey is a fascinating account and the edition I read published by Great Northern Books is also illustrated with over 80 modern and archive photos It s a really beautiful book and one I heartily recommendThe introduction by the always readable and interesting Stuart Maconie made me chuckle too If as a writer JB Priestley had just been brilliant humane elegant virile intelligent witty and technically azzling he be arguably considered the pre eminent British literary talent of his age Sadly for him though he also laboured beneath the crushing burden of being accessible engaging crystal clear and enormously popular The mandarins of the metropolitan elite like their provincial voices to stay just that if possible or at least to have the Love You To Death (Detective Ruby Preston, decency to be faintly troubled and attractivelyoomed like say DH Lawrence or John Lennon rather than rich successful boundlessly gifted and ordered like JB Priestley or Paul McCartney The riches and success must have been some consolationI shall be reading of JB Priestley s work. Ture of Englishness A book that anyone interested in England should read This special edition of one of Priestley’s most enduring and widely read works comes with a first word from Nina Bawden forewords by Tom Priestley and Roy Hattersley; an exploration of the book’s social political and literary legacy; and personal contributions from Dame Margaret Drabble Alan Plater William Woodruff Dame Beryl Bainbridge and Doctor John BaxendaleThe fully restored original 1934 tex.

A wonderful non fiction book Priestley s journey around England in the autumn of 1933 He gets under the skin of each places he visits showing up the Arnhem desperate plight of the British working man in the north This is not however a grim book there is also much humour we not only get a taste of the real England of the early 1930 s but we also learn about the book s irascible author I ve had this book on my shelves for uite a while and I finally got around to reading it whilst on holiday earlier this year What a fascinating insight into times that are really not so terribly long ago but yet so veryifferent from my own personal experiences I ve always loved Priestley for his attention to Fitness for Living detail his very apt interpretation of what he sees and hears I ve always loved Priestley for his ability to use so few words to convey so much just one of those books that you can return to again and again Written as a travelogue around England in the early 1930 s I love Priestley s style and if some of his ideas and phrases might beated and indeed some of his concepts are unsettlingly Love Is Blind dismissive and offensive about certain strata of english society in 1933 that is not to be particularly surprising writing as he was in a society uiteifferent from our own and in a country which between the wars was still struggling and coming to terms with a ramatically changed landscape in terms of Industry and future evelopment The whole suirearchy had been The World in the Curl devestated and swept away forever in the trenches so the countryside was struggling to find its new levels and in the cities the poverty and misery of over crowding and uncertainty of where they were going exacerbated the strains Theanger with reading this sort of work is I can be tempted to retroject my outlook and vision onto that totally Connexity different landscape conveniently forgetting that my vision has been honed and focused in aifferent educative and social experience This can result in me judging people harshly forgetting that were I to have been brought up in another place at another time my outlook would be perhaps much as theirs This A Personal Influence does not mean we shouldn t criticize and itoesn t mean that we should not use our enlightened outlook where that exists to move forward but we Americas First City do need to make sure we read with sympathy tolerance and understanding Fascinating personal insights into the state of the post industrial north as he travels there in1933 Priestley talks of social ideas but his sketches of the people he meets are perhaps the most interesting Very sad in places but very human From wiki Commissioned by publisher Victor Gollancz to write a study of contemporary England Priestley recounts his travels around England in 1933 He shares his observations on the social problems he witnesses and appeals foremocratic socialist change English Journey was an influential work inspiring George Orwell s The Road to Wigan Pier1 and has even been credited with winning the 1945 election for the Labour PartyBroadcast onBBC Radio 7 200pm Monday 24th May 2010Duration30 minutesAvailable until232pm Monday 31st May 2010CategoriesFactual Arts Culture the Media Lifestyle Leisure Travel A big book an important book A book I was sure I was going to find enjoyable but then it side twisted me I was sure I was going to be guided through England of the Bone Mountain (Inspector Shan, depression by a wise and avuncular uncle Someone who would point out all I needed to know and who would take a kindly if rather forbidding attitude towards things heidn t uite approve of I ve read An Inspectors Calls and The Good Companions so I thought I had some idea of my man I was only partly right The Priestley revealed in this rambling but truthful account is not uite as nice as you would think He very likely cause the saucers to rattle at a modern gathering of the socially aware and concerned. Special EditionWith a comtemporary perspective from Stuart MaconieFeaturing an exploration of the book’s social political and literary legacyWith contributions from Nina Bawden Tom Priestley Roy Hattersley contributions from Dame Margaret Drabble Alan Plater William Woodruff Dame Beryl Bainbridge and Doctor John BaxendaleIn 1934 JB Priestley published an account of his journey through England from Southampton to the Black Country to the North East and Newcastle to Norwic.

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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