The story is that of disillusioned and stale Hollywood scriptwriter Gregory Dawson. A chance encounter in a Cornish hotel sends him back to the Bruddersford (Bradford) of his youth before the First World War. Caught in the past, Dawson relives his time within the magic circle of the Alington family, days on the moors, his work in a wool office and his first tentative steps towards becoming an author. With the energy of a creative act, Dawson allows the years he’d forgotten about to take shape and join hands with the present. Summing up his recollections of the past and the realisation of his present role in a sterile world, he is led towards an entirely new conception of the future. Dawson slowly comes back to life and sees the world with renewed energy and zest.
John Boynton Priestley (1894-1984) 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’, ‘An Inspector Calls’ and ‘Time and the Conways’. He was a founder of the campaign for nuclear disarmament and a champion of public lending rights. In literary, social and political terms he was very much ‘a man for all seasons’.
Co-authors of the biography and literary tour sections
Lee Hanson is an expert on J B Priestley’s life and work. A teacher of English at Bradford Grammar School, he is a member of the J B Priestley Society. David Joy acted as researcher for the anthology ‘J B Priestley’s Yorkshire’. Former editor of Dalesman magazine, he is an acknowledged expert on Yorkshire and the Dales.
Featuring contributions from:
Alan Ayckbourn, Beryl Bainbridge, Stan Barstow, Tony Benn, Alan Bennett, Michael Billington, Melvyn Bragg, Ann Cryer, Barry Cryer, Joolz Denby, Judi Dench, Michael Foot, Ray Gosling, Denis Healey, David Hockney, Alan Plater, Robert Robinson, Stephen Woodcock.
Illustrated with archive images (including some that have never before been published) from the estate of J B Priestley, Tom Priestley’s personal collection and from various Bradford archives.
Peter Hitchens — Mail on Sunday, 2nd November 2012
“A wonderful and poignant evocation of the generous, optimistic, and (by our standards) very well-educated happiness of English middle-class provincial life before 1914. Once again, he communicates a powerful feeling for, and love of music (partic…
Great Northern Books of Ilkley is rescuing J B Priestley one book at a time. In 2006, it re-issued Bright Day. Last Autumn, a strikingly beautiful edition of The Good Companions arrived.
The rediscovery of Priestley as both novelist and playwright is long overdue. As a writer of fiction he belongs in a great English realist tradition that includes Bennett, Wells and Galsworthy. As a dramatist, he had a rare capacity to explore ideas an…
Timothy West, 11th November 2006
I love it. It’s very unusual and in some ways it’s a dangerous novel