John Boynton Priestley (1894-1984) was one of the great literary figures of the twentieth century. Pre-eminently a dramatist, novelist and social commentator many of his works have become literary classics, among them The Good Companions, Angel Pavement, An Inspector Calls and Time and the Conways. His plays have been translated and performed all over the world and many have been filmed. During the Second World War his regular Sunday night Postscript radio talks attracted audiences of up to 15 million listeners. It was said that he was as popular and as important as Churchill in shoring up the nation's morale and in offering a vision of a better world to come. He was also a founder member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, a champion of public lending rights and represented the UK at two UNESCO conferences. In literary, social and political terms he was very much the last great man of English letters.
"Priestley is a writer whom I admire. I remember reading The Good Companions in one fell juvenile swoop." Melvyn Bragg; "A truly great novel." The Sunday Times; "Wonderful vitality... describes with unfailing truth and humour the rich fabric of English provincial life." The Daily Telegraph; "One of the great novels of the 20th Century." Paul Johnson, The Spectator; "Picaresque, picturesque... If you have not read it I envy you, it lies ahead..." Barry Cryer; "A wonderful story." Dame Judi Dench; "We all know his plays, now is the time to be re-introduced to his novels." Timothy West; "He belongs in a great English realist tradition that includes Bennett and Galsworthy." Michael Billington; "A marvellous writer" David Hockney