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Complete summary of J. B. Priestley’s Angel Pavement. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of Angel Pavement. Though disdained and lampooned by the literati, the author of Angel Pavement was extraordinarily successful in his day. It’s our loss if his. Buy Angel Pavement by J. B. Priestley from Amazon’s Fiction Books Store. Everyday low prices on a huge range of new releases and classic fiction.

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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. Interestingly Priestley doesn’t indulge in back stories. Aug 30, Keith rated it really liked it Shelves: Nearly 30 years after his death, although Priestley’s plays are regularly revived and there remains a folk memory of his considerable impact as a war-time broadcaster, his novels are usually regarded as the quaintest of period curios: They begin to go on dates secretly.

Golspie has swindled them all and fled; the prlestley faces inevitable bankruptcy very soon. Priestley is taking stock, somewhere before mid-century, and finding things are amiss in his remarkable world. Mr Golspie, an “able rogue” Orwell’s phrasearrives in London out of the blue on a Baltic cargo ship with a display case full of veneer samples, and the sole UK agency prieshley an innovative new manufacturing process ripe to make fortunes for the lucky men he selects as his business partners.

The story is firmly focused on the present only.

The contempt in which Priestley was held by some of his fellow-writers can sometime seem rather startling. George Orwell, alarmed by his influence on other novelists, noted of Patrick Hamilton’s Priestley-haunted Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky that Hamilton “has set out … to priestey a novel about ‘real life’, but with the Priestleyan assumption that ‘real life’ means lower-middle-class life in a large town and that if you have packed into your novel, say, fifty-three descriptions of tea in a Lyons Corner House, you have done the trick.

Show 25 25 50 All. Not long after the structure is laid out, priestleg the characters become more familiar, we’re treated to comedic turns in the story, where perhaps the reader ajgel led to know more about what will happen than the people involved.

Miss Matfield’s imaginative life, for example, is spent almost exclusively among romantic novels set in the South Seas “jungles, coral reefs, plantations, hibiscus flowers, the scent of vanilla, schooners on the wide Pacific, tropical nights”. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Smeeth, the office manager, yearns for safety and security but has always feared that he will not have priestey.


I am sure that I knew people niot too far removed from Herbert Norman Smeeth, the cashier; Harold Turgis, the railway shipping clerk; and Lilian Matfield, the secretary-typist. Quotes from Angel Pavement. In order that she might not be overlooked in company and also to protect herself, she had developed and brought very near to perfection a curiously disturbing manner, which conveyed a pavment suggestion of the malicious, the mocking, the sarcastic, the sardonic, the ironical.

Not altogether distant from the Ealing Studio films of the later decades– but all is not well. However, I cannot say that I did not enjoy the book. Then there’s the principal of the firm, Mr Dersingham, who is going through the motions of being a businessman; his heart is not in it and he just muddles through his life.

And great characters, in large part because of their un-remarkableness. Both he and his beautiful daughter are incarnations of the fantasies that two staff members, Turgis and Miss Matfield, have on a daily basis.

The name Angel Pavement was also used by a UK pop group in the late sixties. Priestley’s basic premise is picaresque, giving the reader a few pointed glimpses at the follies and foibles of the faces on the street, via the particular faces he’s chosen. A modern writer would flash back to Dursingham’s and Smeeth’s war experiences, or Turgis’s difficult upbringing, but there is none of this.

JB Priestley: adventures of the ‘tradesman of letters’

Another band, Desperate Bicyclesderived its name from a passage in J. Angel Pavement ‘s storyline can be given in a paragraph.

Good story, a con man totally messes up an odd little veneer business staffed by hopeless subordinates. Priestley is the master of the art of describing priestlfy characters with affection and a faint touch of humour, and his flair for dialogue came to the fore long before he became a successful dramatist.

For all the chaos unleashed by the depredations of Mr Golspie — a character whom it is impossible to dislike on account of his sheer animal vigour — the novel ends on an up, with most of its cast galvanised into some kind of new relationship with a world that had previously held them in its thrall.

Home Contact Us Help Free delivery worldwide. After being wounded in Priestley returned to England for six months; then, after going back to the Western Front he suffered the consequences of a Anfel gas attack, and, treated at Rouen, he was declared unfit for active service and was transferred to the Entertainers Section of the Angwl Army.


Angel Pavement | work by Priestley |

The catalyst of the tale is the arrival at the firm of a man of no scruples, Mr Golspie, who intends to use the firm to make a lot of money very quickly and then get out.

What Priestley, who took himself and his art very seriously, thought about being described as a holiday novelist can only be imagined. A study of the employees in a small London office, all leading lives of “quiet desperation”.

Want to Read Currently Reading Read. The firm, which imports veneers and inlays to sell to cabinet makers and furniture manufacturers, is struggling to cope with the consequences of poor management, declining demand and an economy hardly geared to a sudden improvement in trade.

Angel Pavement and its kind, too hot and airless in summer, too raw in winter, too wet in spring, and too smoky and foggy in autumn, assisted by long hours of artificial light, by hasty breakfasts and illusory lunches, by walks in boots made of sodden cardboard and rides in germ-haunted buses, by fuss all day and worry at night, had blanched the whole man, had thinned his hair and turned it grey, wrinkled his forehead and the space at each side of his short grey moustache, put eyeglasses at one end of his nose and slightly sharpened and reddened the other end Refresh and try again.

A man comes into the office offering to supply them with cheaper veneers could this be the salvation of the company? Ikinsey rated it it was amazing Jun 12, William rated it liked it Apr 03, Priestley began this novel in Octoberaround the time when his previous novel, The Good Companions, was taking off in a big way.

Angel Pavement

The fifth chapter depicts the narrow world of the typist, Miss Matfield, and her disastrous date with Norman Birtley, which is enlivened only by an accidental meeting with Mr Golspie, who gives her a box of chocolates on a whim. The second chapter introduces the tobacconist T. The title track was a cover of the song by Tom Evans of The Iveys who later changed their name to Badfinger. It arrived just after the huge success of The Good Companions, and, though it is darker than the delightful earlier novel, it proved priestlley as popular