‘An exquisitely-written, generous, funny, thoughtful book about the everyday joys of being alive. I love it.’ Dolly Alderton

‘J. B. Priestley is one of our literary icons of the 20th Century and it is time that we all became re-acquainted with his genius.’ Dame Judi Dench

‘My apology, my little bit of penitence, for having grumbled so much, for having darkened the breakfast table, almost ruined the lunch, nearly silence the dinner party, for all the fretting and chafing, grousing and croaking, for the old glum look and the thrust-out lower lip. So my long-suffering kinsfolk, my patient friends, may a glimmer of that delight which has so often possessed me, but perhaps too frequently in secret, now reach you from these pages.’

There are times when there doesn’t seem much to smile about. And for those times, there is this book. J. B Priestley’s 1949 classic teaches us that joy may be found in even the simplest things, and that we all have the capacity to appreciate them.

Delight comprises a series of short essays, all focussing on a single simple pleasure, from reading detective stories in bed to smoking a pipe in the bath; from ‘Cosy planning’ to the earliest summer mornings; and from mineral water in the bedrooms of foreign hotels to the smell of bacon in the morning.

Combining poignant memories of his childhood with glimpses of his interior world, panoramas of life abroad with thoughts about writing, music, theatre – some strictly personal, some universal –this highly readable book bursts with humour and literary flare on every page.


‘J. B. Priestley was one of the great authors of the twentieth century and a prose writer of great skill and charm. His essays were in the grand tradition of Hazlitt and Lamb, Chesterton and Belloc. I am delighted to hear that Delight is back in print – these wonderful essays are among his finest.’ Paul Johnson, The Spectator

‘I had this book pressed into my hands by someone during an unsteady time and it helped pick the lint off my jacket, straighten my lapels and push me out into the world again. It helped me appreciate my own pockets of pleasure.’ Hannah Jane Parkinson, The Guardian

'A vastly talented and exceptionally versatile and wise writer.' Iris Murdoch

'Priestley was volcanic, fertile … and never dull.' Anthony Burgess

‘A marvellous writer.’ David Hockney

‘We all know his plays, now is the time to be re-introduced to his novels.’ Timothy West

‘He belongs in a great English realist tradition that includes Bennett and Galsworthy.’ Michael Billington

‘An important book that has a literary importance and social value that far exceeds the time it was written.’ Dame Beryl Bainbridge

‘Written in the elegant, simple language which was an essential part of Priestley’s brilliance. It is, in consequence, a masterpiece.’ Roy Hattersley

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