This is from the internet, but I thought it too good to not put here for you to find:
"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 tale, "Good Companions," "Lost Empires" will leave you on a high, having completed a very satisfactory tour of a world long vanished, but whose echoes are still recognizable today. Language and craft, satire and straight-out good fun all abound here. Happily, Mr. Priestley does not leave us dangling for want of more; numerous other works of his are still in print today, which I suppose is the proof of this particular pudding.
Fascinating glimpse into the life of variety halls in England just before the first World War (1913). Richard, a would-be painter, joins his uncle's magic act. On the road he learns about women and life in general.