The Great Depression: Unemployment and Poverty

  • Norman Page
Part of the Context and Commentary book series


In the autumn of 1933 the popular novelist J.B. Priestley (1894–1984) set out on a journey that took him throughout most of the length and breadth of England, from Southampton and Bristol to Lancashire and Tyneside; and early in the following year he published an account of his travels. English Journey begins in the south, and its tone is at first relaxed and good-humoured. When he reaches the Black Country, however, Priestley’s manner becomes less genial: of one street in West Bromwich, for instance, he writes:

I have never seen such a picture of grimy desolation as that street offered me. If you put it, brick for brick, into a novel, people would not accept it, would condemn you as a caricaturist and talk about Dickens.


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© Norman Page 1990

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  • Norman Page

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