Priestleys England: J. B. Priestley and English culture

Priestleys England: J. B. Priestley and English culture

by John Baxendale


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Priestleys England: J. B. Priestley and English culture by John Baxendale

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780719072871
Publisher: Manchester University Press
Publication date: 04/02/2014
Pages: 228
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

John Baxendale is Visiting Fellow in History at Sheffield Hallam University

Table of Contents


1. 'A serious writer with a message'

2. Bruddersford and beyond

3. Englands and Englishness

4. This new England

5. Priestley's war

6. 'Now we must live up to ourselves': New Jerusalem and beyond



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