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Transcript of J.B Priestley
novelist, playwright and broadcaster. He published 26 novels,
as well as a great number of dramas like An Inspector Calls (1945).
His work included literary and social criticism. J.B.Priestley was born John Boynton Priestley on September 13th 1894 in Bradford, West Riding of Yorkshire, England. His father was a headmaster and his mother died when he was two. After leaving Belle Vue School when he was 16, he worked in a wool office. However, his dream of becoming a writer didn't die. He would buy books and would try different types of writing. His first piece of professional writing was an article "Secrets of the Rag-Time King" which appeared in London Opinion on Dec 14th 1912. Priestley volunteered for the army in
September 1914, serving 5 years in
England and France. Apart from some
letters he wrote during that time, he
mostly wrote poems which he
published privately, entitled THE
CHAPMAN OF RHYMES, to make sure
some writing was left if he died.
after his military service,
he went to Cambridge.
Once the war began in 1939, he established yet another
branch of his career, this time as a broadcaster. He said
this to be his contribution to the war effort. But he continued writing novels and plays, some with the background of the war such as BLACKOUT IN GRETLEY and DAYLIGHT ON SATURDAY, and the plays HOW ARE THEY AT HOME and DESERT HIGHWAY, written specially for the Army. Towards the end of the war he put his hopes for a better future into his play THEY CAME TO A CITY, and his belief in society in AN INSPECTOR CALLS. A much more serious novel was LOST EMPIRES, to be followed later by one of his favourites THE IMAGE MEN. In his later writing life he did write several lighter novels, comedies like LOW NOTES ON A HIGH LEVEL and detective stories like SALT IS LEAVING, written for his own enjoyment as well as the readers'. His two last significant plays were THE GLASS CAGE, written for a company in Canada.
After a remarkably productive lifetime, spanning most of the 20th century, J.B.Priestley, died on August 14th 1984. His ashes are buried at the old church at Hubberholme in the Yorkshire Dales. But not forgotten, his plays are performed all over the world, and his books are gradually being reprinted by Great Northern Books. There is an active J.B.Priestley Society. In the theatre he
was best known
for his 'Time
CONWAYS and I
HAVE BEEN HERE
BEFORE, but also
his WHEN WE ARE
were MUSIC AT
During the 1930s
he was partner in
company. It was
an incredibly busy
time, with plays to
develop, books to
publish, film scripts
to write, and the
of articles. He established
London as a
was a period of
with book after
along with the
illness of his wife,
the death of his
father, and his