“My favourite of all his work… a storyteller supreme, a master of his craft.” Roy Hudd
Lost Empires is J.B. Priestley’s late masterpiece. The First World War is looming and the music halls are thriving. Into the backstage world of dingy lodging houses, outrageous characters and decaying variety stages comes Richard Herncastle, an aspiring painter who has agreed to travel the country with his Uncle Nick, the half lovable, half-monster, master illusionist. Once inside this comic and tragic world Richard becomes caught in a triangle of love, jealousy, temptation and sexual adventure.
Vividly imagined, authentic and richly-coloured, Lost Empires is a humorous and occasionally disturbing coming-of-age story as well as a haunting portrait of a way of life and a society soon to change forever.
A Major novel. Nostalgic but often disturbing” Sunday Express
“If you’ve read this before, embark on a return journey. If you haven’t, I envy you.” Barry Cryer
“Priestley looks not only inwards at his characters, but outwards, towards the great events that shape their lives, outwards at history.” John Braine