chapter  8
16 Pages

Thirties Poetry and the Landscape of Suburbia

I start in a familiar place - but a place still new for J.B. Priestley when he wrote about it in English Journey in 1934. At the end of the book he is stuck in a traffic jam in a fog, crawling back through North London, and reflecting on the different Englands he has seen on his journey:

There was, first, Old England, the country of the cathedrals and minsters and manor houses and inns, of Parson and Squire; guide-book and quaint highways and byways England .... Then, I decided, there is the nineteenth-century England, the industrial England of coal, iron, steel, cotton, wool, railways; of thousands of rows of little houses all alike, sham Gothic churches, square-faced chapels, Town Halls, Mechanics Institutes, mills, foundries, warehouses ....