Letter from Orwell to David Astor (5 September 1949)

Letter from Orwell to David Astor (5 September 1949)

U.C.H.1 5 September 1949 Dear David, Thanks ever so for sending those beautiful crysanths & the box of peaches that actually met me on my arrival here. I feel ghastly & can’t write much, but we had a wonderful journey...
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Three Years of Home Guard: Unique Symbol of Stability (May 1943)

Three Years of Home Guard: Unique Symbol of Stability (May 1943)

The Observer, 9 May 1943 It is close on three years since the eager amateurs of the L.D.V. doctored shotgun cartridges with candle-grease and practised grenade-throwing with lumps of concrete, and the value of the Home Guard as a...
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Letter from Eric Blair to Leonard Moore suggesting George Orwell as a pseudonym (1932)

Letter from Eric Blair to Leonard Moore suggesting George Orwell as a pseudonym (1932)

Sat.1 “The Hawthorns” Church Rd. Hayes  Mdx. Dear Mr Moore, Many thanks for your letter. I sent off the proof with the printer’s queries on it yesterday. I made a few alterations & added one or...
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Appeal by Freedom Defence Committee (7 September 1948)

Appeal by Freedom Defence Committee (7 September 1948)

Issue 7 of the Freedom Defence Committee’s Bulletin, Autumn 1948, draws to its readers’ attention a letter sent to the press for publication ‘early in September.’ A copy of the actual letter sent to The New Statesman and Nation...
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Arthur Koestler interviewed about his friend George Orwell

Arthur Koestler interviewed about his friend George Orwell

Arthur Koestler (1905-83), novelist, journalist, critic and philosopher, had covered the Spanish Civil War for the News Chronicle between 1936 and 1937, and was imprisoned by General Franco. After his release he served in the French Foreign Legion for...
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The Politics of Starvation

The Politics of Starvation

Tribune, 18 January 1946 A few days ago I received a wad of literature from the “Save Europe Now” committee, which has been attempting—without much encouragement from the Government or help from the Press—to increase the supply of food from...
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Bloodstained scarves worn by Orwell during the Spanish Civil War sold at auction

Bloodstained scarves worn by Orwell during the Spanish Civil War sold at auction

A collection of four scarves and neckerchiefs belonging to George Orwell were sold by Bloomsbury Auctions (London) in October 2013 for £4,500. The scarves had been worn by Orwell in May 1937 when he was shot during a battle...
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Review of “Lest We Regret” by Douglas Reed and “I Sit and I Think and I Wonder” by Sidney Dark

Review of “Lest We Regret” by Douglas Reed and “I Sit and I Think and I Wonder” by Sidney Dark

The Observer, 7 November 1943 It seems strange to look back five years and remember Mr. Douglas Reed as a Cassandra figure warning a heedless world that the Nazis were dangerous. And it is even stranger to think of...
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Eric Blair’s reply to BBC regarding broadcasting to India as George Orwell (October 1942)

Eric Blair’s reply to BBC regarding broadcasting to India as George Orwell (October 1942)

B.B.C. Internal Memorandum From: Eric Blair, Indian Section Subject: Weekly News Commentary To: Eastern Service Director CONFIDENTIAL 15 October 1942 With reference to the suggestion that I should write and broadcast the weekly news review in English over my...
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Catastrophic Gradualism

Catastrophic Gradualism

C. W. Review, November 19451 There is a theory which has not yet been accurately formulated or given a name, but which is very widely accepted and is brought forward whenever it is necessary to justify some action which...
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My favorite Amazon customer reviews for George Orwell’s 1984

My favorite Amazon customer reviews for George Orwell’s 1984

These are real reviews for Orwell’s 1984 from Amazon.com customers. Spelling, grammar and punctuation — all uncorrected. Enjoy! ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ Number of reviews: 1,645 Average rating: Customer Reviews 5 of 70 people found the following review...
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Letter to Penguin Books (8 March 1943)

Letter to Penguin Books (8 March 1943)

10a Mortimer Crescent London NW6 8 March 1943 Dear Sir,1 With reference to your letter dated 5.3.43. I am not absolutely certain without looking up my contracts how I stand about the rights in my books, but I am almost...
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The Orwell Reader (Part 2)

The Orwell Reader (Part 2)

A collection of some of George Orwell’s best essays: The Spike (1931) Bookshop Memories (1936) Spilling the Spanish Beans (1937) Charles Dickens (1940) Boys’ Weeklies (1940) The Art of Donald McGill (1941) Mark Twain — The Licensed Jester (1943)
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Orwell shot through throat by a sniper (20 May 1937)

Orwell shot through throat by a sniper (20 May 1937)

George Orwell (Eric Blair) was shot through the throat by a sniper on 20 May 1937. He discusses the incident in Homage to Catalonia. His wife (Eileen Blair) sent a telegram from Barcelona at noon on 24 May 1937...
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Letter from Eileen Blair in Barcelona to her brother Dr. Laurence (‘Eric’) O’Shaughnessy (May 1937)

Letter from Eileen Blair in Barcelona to her brother Dr. Laurence (‘Eric’) O’Shaughnessy (May 1937)

10 Rambla de los Estudios, Barcelona. 1 May 1937 Dear Eric, You have a hard life. I mean to write to Mother with the news, but there are some business matters. Now I think of these, they’re inextricably connected...
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Letter from George Orwell at the BBC to E. M. Forster (14 April 1942)

Letter from George Orwell at the BBC to E. M. Forster (14 April 1942)

14 April 1942 Dear Mr. Forster, Many thanks for your letter. As to the questionnaire by the BBC which you mention,1 I don’t think it ever bore much fruit, but I am finding out what replies did come in...
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Common Lodging Houses (September 1932)

Common Lodging Houses (September 1932)

The New Statesman and Nation, 3 September 1932 Common lodging houses, of which there are several hundred in London, are night-shelters specially licensed by the LCC.1 They are intended for people who cannot afford regular lodgings, and in effect...
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Telling the Russians about Orwell

Telling the Russians about Orwell

Gleb Struve (1898-1985), a scholar and specialist on Soviet literature, was at the School of Slavonic Studies, London University, in 1944. He wrote to Orwell and congratulated him on his piece in the Tribune column about Soviet falsification of history....
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List of Newspeak words from Orwell’s 1984

List of Newspeak words from Orwell’s 1984

In George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, the fictional language Newspeak attempts to influence thought by influencing the expressiveness of the English language. In keeping with the principles of Newspeak, all of the words listed here serve as both nouns and verbs; thus, crimethink is both the noun meaning...
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The Principles of Newspeak

Still from Michael Radford's film production of Orwell's 1984 (Copyright: MGM)

Appendix to George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. Newspeak was the official language of Oceania and had been devised to meet the ideological needs of Ingsoc, or English Socialism. In the year 1984 there was not as yet anyone who used...
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Friendship and love

Eric and Us (1974) by Jacintha Buddicom

Summer 1921. Orwell’s last poem to Jacintha Buddicom: Friendship and love are closely intertwined, My heart belongs to your befriending mind: But chilling sunlit fields, cloud-shadows fall— My love can’t reach your heedless heart at all. Jacintha Buddicom responded with:...
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Birth of George Orwell on 25 June 1903

Eric Blair (George Orwell) held by nanny (1903)

Excerpt from Bernard Crick’s biography George Orwell: A Life. Eric Arthur Blair was born at Motihari in Bengal on 25 June 1903, five years after his sister Marjorie, who was born at Tehta in Bihar. His father, Richard Walmesley Blair,...
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Paper is Precious

Squander Bug poster (UK-WW2)

This script, which survives on microfilm, is filed as anonymous in the BBC Archives. It is adjacent to Money and Guns of 20 January 1942, and its style of presentation is the same. Programmes as Broadcast (PasB) records that the transmission...
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Just Junk – But Who Could Resist It?

Just Junk – But Who Could Resist It?

Evening Standard, 5 January 1946 Which is the most attractive junk shop in London is a matter of taste, or for debate: but I could lead you to some first-rate ones in the dingier areas of Greenwich, in Islington...
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Letter and drawing by George Orwell from boarding school (March 1912)

Childhood drawing by George Orwell of a boat (March 1912)

Uncorrected letter sent by George Orwell (Eric Blair) to his mother Ida from St. Cyprian’s preparatory school in Eastbourne, Sussex. 17 March 1912 My darling Mother, Thank you for your letter, please tell me what couler the giune-pig is....
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Easter letter with drawing by George Orwell to his mother from boarding school (February 1912)

Childhood drawing by George Orwell (February 1912)

Uncorrected letter sent by George Orwell (Eric Blair) to his mother Ida from St. Cyprian’s preparatory school in Eastbourne, Sussex. 25 February 1912 My darling Mother, Thank you for that letter you sent me, but I couldent read it...
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Grave of Eileen O’Shaughnessy Blair (George Orwell’s first wife)

Grave of Eileen O’Shaughnessy Blair (George Orwell’s first wife)

Eileen O’Shaughnessy (25 September 1905 – 29 March 1945) was the first wife of George Orwell. She died in tragic circumstances in the spring of 1945 in Newcastle upon Tyne whilst undergoing surgery, her death being caused by the...
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Pictures of George Orwell (Part 1)

Eric Blair at Burma Police Training School (1923)

Eric Blair (George Orwell) on holiday at Church Stretton, Shropshire in September 1917 Eric Blair (holding rifle) with friends Guinevere and Prosper Buddicom. Jacintha Buddicom in 1918 Jacintha Buddicom was the subject of some of Eric Blair’s early love...
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Descending to the level of our enemies (October 1942)

Captured Canadian troops in Dieppe, France (Aug. 1942)

Unpublished letter to the Editor of The Times, 12 October 1942 10a Mortimer Crescent NW6 Sir, May I be allowed to offer one or two reflections on the British Government’s decision to retaliate against German prisoners,1 which seems so...
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The Meaning of Sabotage

The Meaning of Sabotage

The typescript has a few amendments in Orwell’s hand and at the head of the first page, also in his hand, is written, ‘As broadcast. 10 mins 10 secs.’ The talk was censored by R. C. Hardman and read...
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Letter to the Reverend Iorwerth Jones (April 1941)

Letter to the Reverend Iorwerth Jones (April 1941)

111 Langford Court Abbey Road London NWS 8 April 1941 Dear Mr Jones, Many thanks for your letter.1 Perhaps in one or two cases I expressed myself rather ambiguously and can make things clearer by answering some of your...
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British Rations and the Submarine War

British ration book from WW2 (interior)

The typescript for this broadcast states that it was written ‘by E. Blair’ and read by I. B. Sarin, Programmes Assistant in the Eastern Service. The script carries a rectangular censor’s stamp. Unlike the later triangular rubber stamps for...
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Letters by George Orwell to his mother from boarding school (1911)

Letters by George Orwell to his mother from boarding school (1911)

All letters handwritten by George Orwell (Eric Blair) and sent to his mother Ida from St. Cyprian’s preparatory school in Eastbourne, Sussex. Letters are uncorrected. Sunday, 8 October 1911 My dear Mother, I hope you are quite well, I...
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George Orwell’s death on 21 January 1950

George Orwell’s death on 21 January 1950

George Orwell died of a massive hemorrhage of the lung in the early hours of Saturday January 21st 1950 at University College Hospital in London. Death came very quickly. Although his wife Sonia had been with him much of...
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1984 research guide

UK first edition of George Orwell's 1984 with red dust jacket

This page is recommended for students and educators. Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) by George Orwell. Complete Novel. About Nineteen Eighty-Four. Includes: Background information on novel, plot summary, character details, etc. What is Newspeak? Quotes from Nineteen Eighty-Four. Where Orwell completed...
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The Crystal Spirit

The Crystal Spirit

In the opening pages of George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia (1938) he describes meeting an Italian militiaman in Barcelona in December 1936 when he joined the fight against Franco during the Spanish Civil War. Orwell added more details (and...
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Letter from literary critic Desmond MacCarthy to George Orwell on 29 December 1949

Letter from literary critic Desmond MacCarthy to George Orwell on 29 December 1949

The last letter among Orwell’s papers from a well-wisher was from the critic and literary journalist Desmond MacCarthy (1877-1952). He said that he had written two letters which he had torn up because they did not express what he...
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