Priestley At Kissing Tree House : A Memoir
A lost and now found memoir of J.B. Priestleywritten by someone who knew him better than most others: his own personal secretary. Written in the 1980s, though never published, the manuscript has only recently resurfaced. It provides a unique, warm and intimate portrait of the private, hidden life, of one of the twentieth century's most widely read authors and great
The book reveals Priestley's daily routines, his writing habits, hobbies, weaknesses, eccentricities and his correspondence with a variety of organisations and people, including family, and other renowned authors and figures of the twentieth century; a warts and all portrait, truthful, revealing, moving. A book which in the end, displays great love for its subject.
It is a memoir that also reveals the somewhat old-fashioned role of a live-in personal secretary / assistant to an author and the close relationship that develops with such a job.
KISSING TREE HOUSE
Kissing Tree House is the name of the house where Priestley and his wife, the archaeologist Jacquetta Hawkes, lived from December 1959 until his death in 1984. The house is in the small village of Alveston about four miles from Stratford. Of historical interest, the house has been a listed property since 1972. Listing NGR: SP2344156412
Priestley had many guests and held many dinner parties at Kissing Tree; he was visited there by many famous figures.
"One day I very much hope that Mrs. Batten will write a book about me because, as I have pointed out to her, she knows me better than anyone else who might want to write such a book"
J.B. Priestley, 26th June, 1979