Gin and tonic, 1940

A little glimpse of Priestley at the time of the Postscripts, published in Delight (1949).  Delight, which was recently re-issued, contains short pieces on things which delighted Priestley: fountains, trying new blends of tobacco, buying books, lawn tennis, mineral water in bedrooms of foreign hotels, making stew, quietly malicious chairmanship …

The piece “Gin and tonic, 1940” sets the scene precisely.  In the early autumn of 1940, Priestley was living in London, researching and broadcasting extensively, travelling to Oxfordshire where his wife Jane was staying on Fridays then returning to London on Sundays to give his Postscript broadcast.  He would spend the hour before dinner in the village pub, alone, with a gin and tonic and a packet of crisps.  Deeply tired, relieved to be away from the madness of London during the Blitz, he found this apparently dull time brought “an unfathomable sense of peace and quiet and remoteness”.


2 responses to “Gin and tonic, 1940

  1. Pingback: 75. “Let us also have fountains – more and more fountains …”: J.B. Priestley’s One Hundred and Fourteen Delights | 100 Objects

  2. Pingback: Castaway Jacquetta | Celebrating Jacquetta Hawkes

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