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Priestley's EnglandJ. B. Priestley and English Culture$
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John Baxendale

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780719072864

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719072864.001.0001

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Bruddersford and beyond

Bruddersford and beyond

(p.35) 2 Bruddersford and beyond
Priestley's England

John Baxendale

Manchester University Press

This chapter focuses on the life of Priestly in Bradford and after Bradford. Bradford was the paradigm of nineteenth-century industrial England. This was the England of slag-heaps and mill chimneys and doss-houses, back-to-back slums and cindery waste-grounds, and ‘grim, fortress-like cities’. Bradford was one of the most socialist and dissenting cities of England. From this culture, Priestly took two profound ideological influences: socialism and dissent. For Priestly socialism and dissent became part and parcel of a rich, democratic and self-sufficient cultural life, which is recreated in his novels. Priestly projected his vision of Bradford on to the nation. The ideal England he evoked in wartime was not some proletarian paradise but ‘all one lot of folk’ writ large.

Keywords:   Bruddersford, Priestley, industrial town, lower middle classes, mill

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