Book recommendations are found off and on in Jupp’s letters and notebooks, also literature lists that contain works of fiction as well as non-fiction. The following is a recommendation he wrote to a friend on February 25th, 1941.
Another book, which I read some time ago, I’d like to recommend very strongly. It’s by J.B. PRIESTLEY: “The Good Companions” – and this, friend, really, it’s wonderful. No big problems or difficult undertakings, no riddles or puzzles but a straight forward story with a lot of out-of-the-way things and happenings, all told in a free and easy manner which only hides the most artful command of language, the most careful and conscious choice of words. A vivid description of persons, their habits and characters in such a way that you might imagine, you knew them personally, all of them. Their way of acting and reacting, their way of talking and taking things is something I would like you to experience. It is marvelous and most refreshing.
Jupp was not alone in his enthusiasm for this novel, for good reason. He needed “a holiday from anxiety and strain and tragic circumstances” as much as the next guy… and the author, too, it would seem.
In creating The Good Companions, Priestley gave himself “a holiday from anxiety and strain and tragic circumstances, shaping and colouring a long happy daydream”, a much-needed break after the War and the years of his wife Pat’s long illness and death. Readers of 1929 obviously also felt the need to escape into the huge happy world of the novel. Their enthusiastic response made the book a best-seller and Priestley a household name. (from 34. “A Long Happy Daydream”: J.B. Priestley’s The Good Companions)
As of 2007, the novel is in print again, but original first editions are also available and affordable.