J. B. Priestley (September 13, 1894 - August 14, 1984)
Born: 13th September, 1894
Died: 14th August, 1984
Nationality: British writer
Region: Bradford, England, Stratford-upon-Avon
Notable works: "The Good Companions", "Angel Pavement"

J. B. Priestley Facts

Biography

J. B. Priestley, (born Sept. 13, 1894, Bradford, Yorkshire, Eng.--died Aug. 14, 1984, Alveston, near Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire), British novelist, playwright, and essayist, noted for his varied output and his ability for shrewd characterization.

Priestley served in the infantry in World War I (1914-19) and then studied English literature at Trinity College, Cambridge (B.A., 1922). He thereafter worked as a journalist and first established a reputation with the essays collected in The English Comic Characters (1925) and The English Novel (1927). He achieved enormous popular success with The Good Companions (1929), a picaresque novel about a group of traveling performers. This was followed in 1930 by his most solidly crafted novel, Angel Pavement, a sombre, realistic depiction of the lives of a group of office workers in London. Among his other more important novels are Bright Day (1946) and Lost Empires (1965).

Priestley was also a prolific dramatist, and he achieved early successes on the stage with such robust, good-humoured comedies as Laburnum Grove (1933) and When We Are Married (1938). Influenced by the time theories of John William Dunne, he experimented with expressionistic psychological drama--e.g., Time and the Conways and I Have Been Here Before (both 1937) and Johnson over Jordan (1939). He also used time distortion as the basis for a mystery drama with moral overtones, An Inspector Calls (1946). Many of his plays featured skillful characterizations of ordinary people in domestic settings.

An adept radio speaker, he had a wide audience for his patriotic broadcasts during World War II and for his subsequent Sunday evening programs. Priestley's large literary output of more than 120 books was complemented by his status as a commentator and literary spokesman for his countrymen, a role he sustained through his forceful and engaging public personality. Priestley refused both a knighthood and a peerage, but he accepted the Order of Merit in 1977.

A revival of interest in and a reappraisal of Priestley's work occurred in the 1970s. During that decade he produced, among other works, Found, Lost, Found, or The English Way of Life (1976).

J. B. Priestley essays

Read more informative topics on our blog
Sheila birling in an inspector calls
An Inspector Phone calls is a play set in Spring 1912, right before the First World Battle, but written by J. B. Priestley soon after the Second World War. In this time around Britain got a capitalist ideal. Basically if you were well-off that was great, but the vast majority of men and women were poor and lived off tiny income. Furthermore it was a sexist country, so women didn't have the same privileges as men. For example they were not permitted to vote until 1918, and even they had to be over 30 until 1928 where the age was reduced to 21, equal to men. This is revealed when Sheila and Sybil leave the area,..
Subscribe to our updates
79 345 subscribers already with us

Related authors

Shiga Naoya
Shiga Naoya
Shiga Naoya, (born Feb. 20, 1883, Ishinomaki, Japan--died Oct. 21, 1971, Tokyo), Japanese fiction..
Paula Gunn Allen
Paula Gunn Allen
Paula Gunn Allen, nee Paula Marie Francis, (born Oct. 24, 1939, Albuquerque, N.M., U.S.--died May..
Kingsley Amis
Kingsley Amis
Kingsley Amis, in full Sir Kingsley Amis, (born April 16, 1922, London, England--died October 22,..
Russell Banks
Russell Banks
Russell Banks, (born March 28, 1940, Newton, Massachusetts, U.S.), American novelist known for..
Lucille Clifton
Lucille Clifton
Lucille Clifton, original name Thelma Lucille Sayles, (born June 27, 1936, Depew, New York, U.S.--died..
Al-Jahiz
Al-Jahiz
Al-Jahiz, in full Abu ?Uthman ?Amr ibn Bahr al-Jahiz, (born c. 776, Basra, Iraq--died 868/869, Basra),..
Johannes Reuchlin
Johannes Reuchlin
Johannes Reuchlin, (born Feb. 22, 1455, Pforzheim, Wurttemberg [Germany]--died June 6, 1522,..
Nathalie Sarraute
Nathalie Sarraute
Nathalie Sarraute, nee Nathalie Ilyanova Tcherniak, (born July 18, 1900, Ivanova, Russia--died..
Amy Goodman
Amy Goodman
Amy Goodman, (born April 13, 1957, Bay Shore, New York, U.S.), American journalist, columnist,..
Han Yu
Han Yu
Han Yu, Wade-Giles romanization Han Yu, also called Han Changli or Han Wengong, courtesy name (zi)..
Fazil Iskander
Fazil Iskander
Fazil Iskander, in full Fazil Abdulovich Iskander, (born March 6, 1929, Sokhumi, Abkhazia, Georgia,..
Jozef Ignacy Kraszewski
Jozef Ignacy Kraszewski
Jozef Ignacy Kraszewski, pseudonym Bogdan Boleslawita, (born July 28, 1812, Warsaw, duchy of Warsaw..
James Kirke Paulding
James Kirke Paulding
James Kirke Paulding, (born Aug. 22, 1778, Dutchess county, N.Y., U.S.--died April 6, 1860, Hyde..
Samuel Phelps
Samuel Phelps
Samuel Phelps, (born February 13, 1804, Plymouth Dock [now Devonport], Devon, England--died November..
Randolph Stow
Randolph Stow
Randolph Stow, in full Julian Randolph Stow, (born November 28, 1935, Geraldton, Western Australia,..
Metta Victoria Fuller Victor
Metta Victoria Fuller Victor
Metta Victoria Fuller Victor, nee Metta Victoria Fuller, (born March 2, 1831, Erie, Pa., U.S.--died..
Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun
Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun
Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun, in full Marie-Louise-Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun, Lebrun also spelled LeBrun..
Mihaly Vorosmarty
Mihaly Vorosmarty
Mihaly Vorosmarty, (born Dec. 1, 1800, Nyek, Hung.--died Nov. 19, 1855, Pest), poet and dramatist..
Robert Munsch
Robert Munsch
Robert Munsch, in full Robert Norman Munsch, (born June 11, 1945, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.),..
Gwendolyn Brooks
Gwendolyn Brooks
Gwendolyn Brooks, in full Gwendolyn Elizabeth Brooks, (born June 7, 1917, Topeka, Kan., U.S.--died..