J B Priestley's picture

J B Priestley

(John Boynton Priestley)
UK flag (1894 - 1984)

John Boynton Priestley was pre-eminently a dramatist and a novelist. Many of his works have become 20th century literary classics, among them 'The Good Companions', 'Angel Pavement', 'Lost Empires', 'When We are Married', 'An Inspector Calls' and 'Time and the Conways'. But he was undoubtedly the most versatile writer of his time, producing essays, short stories, verse, literary criticism, social histories, travel books and film scripts, as well as an opera libretto and an autobiography. He was also a practitioner in, and an enthusiast for, painting and music.

Away from the arts Priestley played many roles as a political activist and commentator; a campaigner for nuclear disarmament and public lending right; a cultural ambassador; and a student of time and of dreams. He once, memorably, became an actor in one of his own plays and stood as a Parliamentary candidate in the 1945 General Election. It may be argued that in literary, social and political terms he was very much 'a man for all seasons'.

Genres: Mystery
Image Men
   1. Out of Town (1968)
   2. London End (1968)
   Adam in Moonshine (1927)
   Benighted (1927)
   Farthing Hall (1929) (with Hugh Walpole)
   The Good Companions (1929)
   Angel Pavement (1930)
   Faraway (1932)
   I'll Tell You Everything (1932) (with Gerald Bullett)
   Wonder Hero (1933)
   They Walk in the City (1936)
   The Doomsday Men (1938)
   When We Were Married (1938)
   Let the People Sing (1939)
   Black-Out in Gretley (1942)
   Daylight On Saturday (1944)
   Three Men in New Suits (1945)
   Bright Day (1946)
   Jenny Villiers (1947)
   Festival at Farbridge (1951)
   Low Notes on a High Level (1954)
   The Magicians (1954)
   Saturn Over the Water (1961)
   The Shapes of Sleep (1962)
   Lost Empires (1965)
   Salt is Leaving (1966)
   Sir Michael and Sir George (1966)
   It's An Old Country (1967)
   Snoggle (1971)
   The Happy Dream (1976)
   Found, Lost, Found (1976)
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Anthologies edited
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J B Priestley recommends
The Best Short Stories of M P Shiel (1948)
M P Shiel
"If by genius we mean amazing ideas, flashes of real imagination, wild originality, then we must grant it him."
The Big Sleep (1939)
(Philip Marlowe , book 1)
Raymond Chandler
"Mr Raymond Chandler seems to me the best American detective-story writer in the tough and tense Dashiell Hammett tradition."
Three Fevers (1932)
(Bramblewick Trilogy, book 1)
Leo Walmsley
"Three Fevers is a first novel done with extraordinary assurance. Everything is made plain, made real, and is grandly alive."

More recommendations 

Anthologies containing stories by J B Priestley
Beyond Time (2019)
Classic Tales of Time Unwound
(British Library Science Fiction Classics)
edited by
Mike Ashley
The Valancourt Book of Horror Stories: Volume Three (2018)
(Valancourt Book of Horror Stories, book 3)
edited by
Ryan Cagle and James D Jenkins
Spirits of the Season (2018)
Christmas Hauntings
(British Library Tales of the Weird, book 5)
edited by
Tanya Kirk

More anthologies 

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