Place explored through a personal selection of the lives, novels, art, architecture, poetry and history inspired by England's industrial era.
Hardly an ordinary place but Priestley is quite brilliant and I couldn’t resist.
‘…the buildings have shape and solidity but no weight, they hang in the air like places in the Arabian Nights… a Gothic fairy tale…all the glimpses of ancient loveliness are there, perfectly framed and lighted; round every corner somebody is whispering a line or two of Chaucer…the pavements are thronged with bank messengers, office boys, policemen, clerks, typists, caretakers, commissionaires, directors, secretaries, crooks…It is hard to believe that somewhere behind the enchanting façade directors are drawing their fees, debenture holders are being taken care of, loans are being called in…and suggestions are being put forward for little schemes that will eventually bring revolution in Central America and mass murder into the Near East.’
‘Morning in the City’ The Priestley Companion (1959):309
Beryl Bainbridge Bradford Castleford CLR James Comedian Ian Smith Cultural Geography Ellen Wilkinson England is Rich Featherstone George Orwell Gerard Benson Get Carter Goole Halifax Harry Hopkins Huddersfield Iain Nairn Isle of Axholme Jack Common JB Priestley Kellingley Kevin Boniface Killingworth Manuscript in a Red Box Minty Alley Morning in the City Nelson Newbiggin-By-The-Sea Newcastle Normanton Pontefract Pre-Raphaelite Psychogeography Robert Westall Rotherham Sean O'Brien Selby Social History Southwold Stuart Maconie Ted Lewis The Division Bell Mystery The Rocket Tom Puddings Vermuyden
2 thoughts on “Morning in the City: JB Priestley”
Why not the Bradford skyline?
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Good question John, made me think! When Priestley wrote this in 1936 London was perhaps the most import financial centre in the world. Even now the stock exchange trades shares worth £2 trillion (Bloomberg) – and that figure is dwarfed if you total up the value of London’s commodity, bond, currency, and ‘special financial-instruments’ markets. This means that the influence of those who dominate these markets is multiple times that of the entire British economy, and by implication, British politicians. Today, one bank, JP Morgan, controls assets worth more than Britain’s total annual output…mind boggling.
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