John Boynton Priestley OM (13 September 1894 – 14 August 1984) was an English playwright, novelist, social commentator, biographer, literary critic, screenwriter and broadcaster. Though now rather unfashionable, in his heyday he was one of the best-known British writers of his generation, combining popular success with critical respect.
See also An Inspector Calls.
- Those no-sooner-have-I-touched-the-pillow people are past my comprehension. There is something suspiciously bovine about them.
- "The Dark Hours", in Too Many People, and Other Reflections (1928).
- Living in age of advertisement, we are perpetually disillusioned. The perfect life is spread before us every day, but it changes and withers at a touch.
- "The Disillusioned", in The Balconinny, and Other Essays ( 1969) p. 30.
- Our great-grand-children, when they learn how we began this war by snatching glory out of defeat, and then swept on to victory, may also learn how the little holiday steamers made an excursion to hell and came back glorious.
- In plain words; now that Britain has told the world she has the H-Bomb, she should announce as early as possible that she has done with it, that she proposes to reject, in all circumstances, nuclear warfare. This is not pacifism. There is no suggestion here of abandoning the immediate defence of this island...No, what should be abandoned is the idea of deterrence-by-threat-of-retaliation. There is no real security in it, no decency in it, no faith, hope, nor charity in it.
- "Britain and the Nuclear Bombs", The New Statesman, 2 November 1957. This article led to the creation of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
- I can't help feeling wary when I hear anything said about the masses. First you take their faces from 'em by calling 'em the masses and then you accuse 'em of not having any faces.
- Saturn Over the Water (1961) ch. 2.
- It is hard to tell where the MCC ends and the Church of England begins.
- In spite of recent jazzed-up one-day matches, cricket to be fully appreciated demands leisure, some sunny warm days and an understanding of its finer points.
- The English (1973)
- Most writers enjoy two periods of happiness – when a glorious idea comes to mind and, secondly, when a last page has been written and you haven’t had time to know how much better it ought to be.