In the years following the Second World War, there didn't seem much to smile about, but as JB Priestley illustrated in the classic 1949 Delight, there are many joys to be found in even the simplest things. This charming book comprises a series of short essays, which all depict a simple pleasure - the smallest things in life that Priestley delighted in at that bleak time - a notion that chimes perfectly with the current national mood. Just some of the simple things Priestley enjoyed include; fountains; a walk in a pine wood; a new box of matches; Sunday papers in the country; reading in bed about foul weather; suddenly doing nothing and waking to smell bacon.
A very personal book, it is superbly written and very readable with Priestley's sense of humour and literary flare in evidence on every page. Each self-contained essay is a joy to read and will no doubt bring a little `delight' to the reader - just as Priestley originally intended seventy years ago.
In `timeless mornings' Priestley muses, `There is one kind of morning in early summer that is for me very special, the most delightful of all mornings. The sun is up and blazing somewhere but not visible yet down here, where there is a lot of gold mist about and the birds are singing from lost thickets.'
The new 70th anniversary edition of Delight contains the full, unabridged text of over one hundred of Priestley's personal joys and pleasures, and includes an introduction written by Priestley's son, Tom. It will be beautifully designed and printed,
making an ideal gift book.
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.