Tag Archives: Literature

Priestley Scholars in Print

A new arrival in Special Collections. Volume 11, October 2010 issue of the J.B. Priestley Society Journal, full of Priestley scholarship.  I particularly liked an article by Priestley’s bibliographer, Alan Day, exploring in detail J.B.’s relationship with Canada. Having missed the Priestley Society annual lecture of 2010, I was pleased to see it reprinted in this issue: Ken Smith discussed Priestley’s Literature and Western Man, shedding new light on this massive and rather neglected work.

The issue also contains two pieces by me, both available online, but printed for the benefit of the many Society members who do not use the web: the text of the oration for the award of honorary degree to Tom Priestley, and reflections on the series Priestley’s Finest Hour.

The journal itself is not currently available online.  Society members receive a copy, and it is held by ourselves, national libraries, and some other university libraries.


From Ackroyd to Zadie: JB and Britlit

I wrote the entry on J.B. Priestley for a new encyclopaedia, which will be an essential resource for those studying literature.  The Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century Fiction is published by Wiley-Blackwell this December.

Arranged into three volumes covering British and Irish Fiction, American Fiction, and World Fiction, the encyclopaedia includes over 500 entries, and (to quote the web page):

  • “Features major writers and their key works.
  • Covers all genres and sub-genres of fiction in English across the twentieth-century, including crime fiction, science fiction, chick lit, the noir novel, naturalist fiction, and the avant-garde novel.
  • Deals with the major movements, debates, and rubrics within the field (Angry Young Men fiction, censorship and the novel, globalisation and the novel, modernist fiction, fiction and the film industry, historiographic metafiction, and rewritings of canonical English narratives)”.

I’ll add links to reviews as they appear.

(I made up Britlit – I think.  It could also be Britfic).

A bit of GLAMour

I don’t think I have posted about GLAM before.  GLAM, the Group for Literary Archives and Manuscripts, aims to bring together archivists, librarians, curators, and anyone else interested in collecting, preservation, use and promotion of literary archives and manuscripts. The importance, international appeal, market value, and intellectual property issues make these archives distinctive and exciting but often difficult to manage.  The challenge is growing, as authors communicate more via diverse digital means.  The group offers a support network and has particular projects to help e.g. on cataloguing this kind of material.  We have a meeting at the John Rylands Library on Thursday.

Special Collections at Bradford holds several literary archives, which tend to be particularly popular and offer great scope for related activities.  These include the J.B. Priestley Archive, the Jacquetta Hawkes Archive, and, coming soon, the W. Riley (Windyridge author) Archive.

Marr on Priestley

The London Library magazine issue 5 includes “Priestley and Englishness”, a feature by Andrew Marr celebrating Priestley’s work.  As well as Englishness, he discusses the issue of Priestley’s large output, and the influence of social class in critical responses to Priestley’s work.

Priestley in the Post

Lee Hanson, the chairman of the J.B. Priestley Society and editor of the Great Northern Rediscovering Priestley series, talks about his Yorkshire favourites in the Yorkshire Post My Yorkshire feature, 10 October 2009.  JBP gets several mentions of course!

Excess Baggage

The English Journeying continues: Radio 4’s Excess Baggage on Saturday 26th included an interview with Tom Priestley about the new edition of  EJ.  Currently available on the BBC iplayer!

Happy birthday JBP!

On Saturday 12 September, I went along to the J.B. Priestley Society’s annual dinner, which was held at the Great Victoria Hotel in Bradford.  The date ties in as closely as possible with JB’s birthday!  It was, as always, a great opportunity to catch up with Priestley contacts.

If you enjoy Priestley’s work, you may like to find out more about the  Society, which brings his admirers together to socialise and learn.  The Society has recently launched a new website, which is bringing a lot of fresh attention.  It includes full details about the Society, how to join, Society news and events, other Priestley news, Society publications, and a section on using Priestley in schools.  Among the benefits of membership, the Society runs at least four events a year, plus publishing a Journal and a Newsletter.  I am on the Society’s Council and also involved with the web site, exhibitions, academic events and anything else where my skills and expertise may be helpful!