English Journey

English Journey is a new special edition of this timeless classic featuring a contemporary perspective from broadcaster and best selling author of Pies and Predjudice, Stuart Maconie. Here he follows in the path of Priestley and gives a modern take on his English journey in his own unique style.

Nearly 80 years on from the publication of this classic Priestley travelogue, its text has particular resonance in these modern times.

In 1934, JB Priestley published an account of his journey through England from Southampton to the Black Country, to the North East and Newcastle, to Norwich and home. In capturing and describing 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 nearly 80 years ago, English Journey expresses Priestley's deep love of his native country and teaches us much about the human condition and the nature of Englishness.

At a glance

ISBN 9781905080502
Category J B Priestley

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Reviews and related articles

Peter Hitchens — Mail on Sunday, 2nd November 2012
I admire Priestley's travelogue 'English Journey', which is . . . well worth finding if you wish to know how life was lived by ordinary English people in the early 1930s

Stuart Maconie, 2nd January 2010
[English Journey is] the finest book ever written about England and the English

Dame Beryl Bainbridge, 12th November 2009
English Journey is an important book that has a literary importance and social value that far exceeds the time it was written.

Huddersfield Examiner, 6th November 2009
This is a sharply observed tour of England, criticised once for its biting honesty, and now beautifully reworked.

Roy Hattersley, 28th October 2009
Written in the elegant, simple language which was an essential part of Priestley's brilliance. It is, in consequence, a masterpiece.

Scotsman, 12th October 2009
English Journey [is] a classic of not just travel but of social history too. There's still no fuller portrait of the country in the throes of the Depression

Roy Hattersley, 23rd September 2009
Written in the elegant, simple language which was an essential part of Priestley's brilliance. It is, in consequence, a masterpiece.

Nina Bawden, 5th September 2009
This is a wonderful book: profound, wise, humane; a good companion indeed

Telegraph and Argus (Bradford), 15th August 2009
Great Northern Books...is to be congratulated. With the help of Tom Priestley, the publisher has battled to restore the literary reputation of his father, JB Priestley...Each of these handsomely-illustrated volumes includes what may be termed the socia...

Timothy West, 11th August 2009
It's wonderful to see such handsomely-produced new editions of great works like 'English Journey' and illustrated with beautiful colour photographs.

The Press (York), 25th July 2009
This beautiful anniversary edition of Priestley's classic comes illustrated with colour and black-and-white photographs old and new, and a series of essays by contemporary writers. A fitting celebration of a marvellous book

BBC Radio 4, 19th July 2009
English Journey was featured on BBC Radio 4's Open Book programme.

Daily Telegraph, 11th July 2009
Priestley's jaunt around a land largely long-gone may be a period piece. But it carries resonance enough to make it required reading for all who care as much about the flaws as the glories of our part-green and pleasant, for some, land.' 5 Stars

Blackpool Gazette, 7th July 2009
Even in today's saturated travel market, English Journey remains the definitive travel book, expressed with a beauty of which Bill Bryson, who loathed the resort, can only dream.

Times Weekend Supplement, 2nd May 2009
The book's context and influence will be explored in a new 75th anniversary edition published this summer with contributions from, among others, Roy Hattersley, Margaret Drabble, Alan Plater, Beryl Bainbrige and Tom Priestley, the authors' son, to whom...

  Book Cover: English Journey