Long before Peter Mandelson appeared, Priestley penned this masterful satire on the way images are created and lost. Two down-at-heel academics, Cosmo Saltana and Owen Tuby, invent a "science" called Social Imagistics, which they then proceed to sell as a service to anyone with enough cash. Unlike current spin doctors, they make a point of telling the truth quite openly, which has the farcical effect of improving their image. In one scene, they install a big box full of flashing lights in their swanky offices, and when asked if it's a wonderful new computer, reply truthfully that it's a box with flashing lights. It's a nice mixture of Priestley cynicism, Noel Coward farce and some serious messages about the value - or otherwise - of cultivating an image. Politics, supermodels, advertising, academia are all successfully lampooned. A bit of a predictable happy end, but you can't have everything. Originally published as 2 books: Out of Town and London End.