Typed letter signed, one page, 13 June 1966. To Mrs. Olive Smith.

PRIESTLEY, J.B.

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Typed letter signed, one page, 4to (on a blue printed 'aerogramme'), Kissing Tree House, Alveston, Stratford-upon-Avon, 13 June 1966, with integral address leaf (usual postal marks). To Mrs. Olive Smith of Los Angeles, evidently a devotee of Priestley's writings, thanking her for letting him know "how much you have enjoyed my work" and reflecting on his reception in the U.S.: ". . . although certain American friends (mostly women) seem to me among the very best readers I have, I always feel that both my books and plays tend to be under-valued in America. My reputation in Europe . . . stands much higher. I sometimes think I am much too sensible for American readers, who want something more eccentric, highly-spiced, avante garde, etc. . . . I have not been to the South-West or the Pacific Coast (which I have visited many times) for some years now. But I keep going to New York, chiefly to see my friends. . . . But I like New York less and less, finding it increasingly expensive, uncomfortable and dirty. And I can't be persuaded, though agents are always trying, to go on an American lecture tour, even though I enjoy talking in public far more than I used to do -- and am pretty good at it. . . . Too many books! And too many people! In my 72nd year I'm beginning to feel I've lived through too many changes." Some edges rough from opening of aerogramme, else near fine.

John Boynton Priestley (1894-1984); English writer. "Throughout the thirties Priestley was a regular visitor to the United States, spending family holidays in Arizona, going on lecture tours, and writing film scripts, most of which are unknown, except for Sing as we Go, a vehicle for the Lancashire entertainer Gracie Fields. As a result he numbered among his friends most of the great names of the Hollywood of the day, including Charlie Chaplin and Groucho Marx." [Judith Cook, ODNB] (Item ID: 22418)



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