This collection of fifty essays spans the 1930s and 1940s and covers the broad range of Orwell's interests: political, social and literary. As well as extracts from well-known books such as 'Down and out in Paris and London' and 'The Road to Wigan Pier', this volume includes classic articles such as 'Killing an Elephant' and 'Good Bad Books,' as well as lesser known pieces. Whether or not readers are familiar with his work or sympathatic to his views, they are sure to be seduced by Orwell's logical mind and lucid prose in this handsome new edition of his wide-ranging and stimulating essays. Contents: The Spike; A Hanging (1931); Bookshop Memories (1936); Shooting an Elephant (1936); Down the Mine (1937) (from "The Road to Wigan Pier"); North and South (from "The Road to Wigan Pier") (1937); Spilling the Spanish Beans (1937); Marrakech (1939); Boys' Weeklies and Frank Richards's Reply (1940); Charles Dickens (1940); Charles Reade (1940); Inside The Whale (1940); The Art of Donald Mcgill (1941); The Lion and the Unicorn: Socialism and the English Genius (1941); Wells, Hitler And The World State (1941); Looking Back On The Spanish War (1942); Rudyard Kipling (1942); Mark Twain - the Licensed Jester (1943); Poetry and the Microphone (1943); W. B. Yeats (1943); Arthur Koestler (1944); Benefit of Clergy: Some Notes on Salvador Dali (1944); Raffles and Miss Blandish (1944); Antisemitism in Britain (1945); Freedom of the Park (1945); Future of a Ruined Germany (1945); Good Bad Books; In Defence of P. G. Wodehouse (1945); Nonsense Poetry; Notes on Nationalism (1945); Revenge is Sour (1945); The Sporting Spirit; You and the Atomic Bomb (1945); A Good Word for the Vicar of Bray; A Nice Cup of Tea (1946); Books vs. Cigarettes; Confessions of a Book Reviewer; Decline of the English Murder; How the Poor Die; James Burnham and the Managerial Revolution; Pleasure Spots; Politics and the English Language; Politics vs. Literature: an Examination of Gulliver's Travels; Riding Down from Bangor; Some Thoughts on the Common Toad; The Prevention of Literature; Why I Write (1946); Lear, Tolstoy and the Fool; Such, Such Were the Joys (1947); Writers and Leviathan (1948); Reflections on Gandhi.
George Orwell is one of England's most famous writers and social commentators. Among his works are the classic political satire Animal Farm and the dystopian nightmare vision Nineteen Eighty-Four. Orwell was also a prolific essayist, and it is for these works that he was perhaps best known during his lifetime. They include Why I Write and Politics and the English Language. His writing is at once insightful, poignant and entertaining, and continues to be read widely all over the world.
Eric Arthur Blair (George Orwell) was born in 1903 in India, where his father worked for the Civil Service. The family moved to England in 1907 and in 1917 Orwell entered Eton, where he contributed regularly to the various college magazines. From 1922 to 1927 he served with the Indian Imperial Police in Burma, an experience that inspired his first novel, Burmese Days (1934). Several years of poverty followed. He lived in Paris for two years before returning to England, where he worked successively as a private tutor, schoolteacher and bookshop assistant, and contributed reviews and articles to a number of periodicals. Down and Out in Paris and London was published in 1933. In 1936 he was commissioned by Victor Gollancz to visit areas of mass unemployment in Lancashire and Yorkshire, and The Road to Wigan Pier (1937) is a powerful description of the poverty he saw there.
At the end of 1936 Orwell went to Spain to fight for the Republicans and was wounded. Homage to Catalonia is his account of the civil war. He was admitted to a sanatorium in 1938 and from then on was never fully fit. He spent six months in Morocco and there wrote Coming Up for Air. During the Second World War he served in the Home Guard and worked for the BBC Eastern Service from 1941 to 1943. As literary editor of the Tribune he contributed a regular page of political and literary commentary, and he also wrote for the Observer and later for the Manchester Evening News. His unique political allegory, Animal Farm was published in 1945, and it was this novel, together with Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), which brought him world-wide fame.
It was around this time that Orwell's unique political allegory Animal Farm (1945) was published. The novel is recognised as a classic of modern political satire and is simultaneously an engaging story and convincing allegory. It was this novel, together with Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), which finally brought him world-wide fame. Nineteen Eighty-Four's ominous depiction of a repressive, totalitarian regime shocked contemporary readers, but ensures that the book remains perhaps the preeminent dystopian novel of modern literature.
Orwell's fiercely moral writing has consistently struck a chord with each passing generation. The intense honesty and insight of his essays and non-fiction made Orwell one of the foremost social commentators of his age. Added to this, his ability to construct elaborately imaginative fictional worlds, which he imbued with this acute sense of morality, has undoubtedly assured his contemporary and future relevance.
George Orwell died in London in January 1950.