Lost Empires

Lost Empires Richard Herncastle s account of his life on the music hall alongside his Uncle Nick in the period immediately before the outbreak of the first World War in This account of life in the Empire Th

  • Title: Lost Empires
  • Author: J.B. Priestley
  • ISBN: 9780434603138
  • Page: 485
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Richard Herncastle s account of his life on the music hall, alongside his Uncle Nick, in the period immediately before the outbreak of the first World War in 1914.This account of life in the Empire Theatres of English Variety The cast is a travelling troupe of artistes dancers, comedians, jugglers, magicians which include a murderer, a depraved beauty, a brilliant coRichard Herncastle s account of his life on the music hall, alongside his Uncle Nick, in the period immediately before the outbreak of the first World War in 1914.This account of life in the Empire Theatres of English Variety The cast is a travelling troupe of artistes dancers, comedians, jugglers, magicians which include a murderer, a depraved beauty, a brilliant comedian in decay, and the greatest conjurer on the English stage He is knows as Ganga Dun to his enormous audience, and as Uncle Nick to the narrator of the story.Young Herncastle is a good looking Yorkshire boy, ambitious as a painter, whom his uncle sweeps away from a dreary office job into the nomadic, boozy, evanescently amorous life of Variety performers on tour With them he learns the exacting craft of the stage and avidly explores the first yearnings and triumphs of both sex and love.

    749 Comment

    • J. says:

      After some preliminary gasping and spluttering, when Uncle Nick pretended I wasn’t there still watching him, he moved off, and a minute later he had vanished into the mist and smoke of the late October afternoon. I had three large glasses of champagne inside me; I had just agreed to exchange an office stool and a sensible life in Bruddersford for some unimaginable music-hall hocus-pocus; I was only twenty and had never been away from homeTo locate the 2016 reader right away, the context of Los [...]

    • Dorcas says:

      Ok, I gave this 124 pages and I'm just not enjoying it. So many people love this so don't let me turn you off trying it. I just wasn't feeling a connection to either the characters (who are not very likeable) or the overall feel of the story, which is rather unhappy and coarse.Also, in case you're wondering, this is more a "slice of life" story than plot driven.I still have a few other J.B Priestley's to try so let's hope that when I get to them they hit the spotNTENT: PROFANITY: liberal use of [...]

    • C.S. Burrough says:

      I love this 1965 J. P. Priestley novel so much I've read it four times. A young man's peep into a smoke-swirling, footlit world as he verges on adulthood, this is classy, intriguing and sad to put down when finished.In the last months of peace before World War I, ambitious young painter-cum-clerk Richard Herncastle's mother's dies. Not yet of age, he is taken under the wing of his maternal uncle Nick Ollanton, known publicly as 'Ganga Dun, the greatest conjurer on the English stage'. Leaving his [...]

    • Bettie☯ says:

      Bettie's Books

    • Owen says:

      "Lost Empires" takes us back into the world of the music hall in England in the early part of this century. Mr. Priestley's gift is characterization and here he takes us on a merry dance around the traps with as fell a cast as ever graced the none-too-genteel provincial stage. It is a book with laughter for itself and for its comic characters and, as always with J. B. Priestley, it has its moments of social satire in which we can all, perhaps, feel we might be at home. Like the longer, sturdier [...]

    • Fannie Dagenais says:

      Brilliant novel, so touching, so endearing. I read it again from time to time, and it never fails to cheer me up

    • jennifer says:

      A novel written as a memoir, this is narrated by Richard Herncastle, the famous English painter. Left poor and on his own at twenty, Richard is surprised to be rescued by the black sheep of the family, his Uncle Nick, a magician on the traveling music hall circuit of 1913. Becoming part of Nick's act, learning about thinking on one's feet and living with the people who made their living moving from stage to stage gives Richard experiences he never would have had in his tiny Northern town.On the [...]

    • Kate says:

      My brother loaned me this book as it is out of print. I'm still not sure if this is a novel made to read like a memoir or a real memoir. In any case, I found it delightful. The writing is very hokey, but is easily forgiven and adds to the experience when you consider it was written in the 60's by an adorable British Bloke.

    • Christopher Newton says:

      The story of Richard Herncastle, a young lad from the North of England who goes to work for his stage magician uncle as WWI is about to break loose. Not exactly great literature but highly entertaining. This is the second novel I've read by J.B. Priestley. The guy really knows how to tell a story.

    • Jonkers Jonkers says:

      Really enjoyed this book. Superbly written with some fascinating characters.

    • Alissa says:

      After finishing The Stand I had a difficult time finding anything that interested me. Priestly certainly caught my attention though. The writing was wonderful and the atmosphere really added to the story. The characters were so realistic and nuanced. It was a perfect follow up to The Stand. The way Priestly crafted his story contrasted with Kings modern subject and the immersive experience of living with those characters for over a thousand pages. I guess I needed something different, something [...]

    • Philip says:

      Lost Empires by J B Priestley purports to be an autobiography of Richard, usually Dick Herncastle, an artist, a painter of watercolours. In his foreword to the book, Priestley tells us that what follows, barring an epilogue seen from the perspective of decades in the future, is the text that Richard Herncastle wrote for himself, his incomplete attempt at autobiography. But this is also only a sketch of a life, since it covers only a short period of the artist’s early adult life, a period in wh [...]

    • Janet says:

      Read this yers ago - actually was reading it on the train, left by mistake and got a second copy. Now, years later considering recommending it for myBook Club. Loved the characters as well as the story.

    • Timothy Hallinan says:

      Taking a break from reviewing Proust. The problem is, the farther I get from the experiences of reading the novels, the more they blend into each other. So, in the meantime, here's something completely different.JB Priestley isn't read much these days, and I had never read him when a friend, noticing that I was talking on Facebook about nonfiction books about the theater, suggested LOST EMPIRES. In it Priestley tells the story of a teenage boy, an aspiring artist, who accepts an offer from his u [...]

    • Gareth Evans says:

      Priestly's novels are very much out of fashion, only the Good Companions seems to be in print. Whilst some of his books are straight propaganda and some very odd (e.g. The Shapes of Sleep), he can be a very fine writer. Lost Empires has a touch of Somerset Maughm about it. The plot, which moves along swiftly with plenty of incident and some notable set pieces, is not the book's main virtue. That is its easy and convincing presentation of life pre-WW1, especially the variety theatre. Entertaining [...]

    • Gill says:

      Another of JB Priestley's magical books about the world of the theatre - particularly the variety theatre - in pre-1914 England. He's a marvellous writer and his characters really live. It's a vanished world but he brings it to life brilliantly.

    • Boris Gregoric says:

      Priestley is great fun to read, very evocative of the bygone era, yet with much smiling sadness that will twist your stomach in a knot. Good, smooth writing, without unnecessary verbiage to mar the fluent narrative.

    • Joanne Marceau says:

      My favorite book of all times. Managed to find a copy and enjoyed reading it the 2nd time.

    • Leila Cassell says:

      This marvellous book kick-started my passion for the days of music hall. I am inspired as I work on my new novel.

    • Keith says:

      A typical Priestley novel, full of nostalgia and character, humour and sadness, with the old music hall era in pre-1914 variety providing the background.

    • Maureen Evans says:

      I found this uninteresting to begin with but was drawn in by the characterisation although I found the main character a bit of a prig

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