Past, Present, Man, Nature: celebrating Jacquetta Hawkes.
An online exhibit by Alison Cullingford, Special Collections Librarian, University of Bradford.
7. Mrs Pro and Mr Con on tour
Travel was a major part of the Priestleys’ lives, for business and pleasure. Jacquetta travelled abroad reporting for the Observer and other newspapers, and, as increasingly eminent people, both travelled to many conferences and events. Their journeys are documented by many photographs, like this one showing them at a café table in Greece. Jacquetta’s Archive is full of 35 mm slides of Taormina, Mexico, Amsterdam, Trinidad, Poland, Palestine …
This flight bulletin from a trip to Portugal for a lecture tour in 1949 is a rare survival in the Archive of the ephemera of travel.
One of the most interesting results of the Priestleys’ travels was “Journey down a rainbow” (1955), in which Priestley analysed 1950s USA while Jacquetta responded with delight to the survival of ancient pueblo culture in New Mexico.
Another shared piece, an unpublished article about a trip to Ceylon from 1970, gives us a feel for the roles adopted by the Priestleys abroad: Mrs Pro (Jacquetta) revelling in the “vegetable sculpture” of the paddy fields and the “huge glistening leaves” of the jungle, Mr Con (J.B.) complaining that “I’ve seen a fair number of jungles now, and I don’t want any of them”.